Mathew Staver

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Mathew D. Staver
Nationality United States of America
Education B.A. in Theology from Southern Missionary College
[1] M.A. in Religion from Andrews University
J.D. from the University of Kentucky
Occupation Constitutional Lawyer
Employer Liberty Counsel
Known for Former Dean of Liberty University School of Law
Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel
Title Director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy, Founder & Chairman of Liberty Counsel, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action.
Term Dean of Liberty University School of Law, 2006 – 2014;
President of Liberty Counsel, 1989-2006
Predecessor Dean of Liberty University School of Law, Bruce Green
Spouse(s) Anita Staver

Mathew D. "Mat" Staver, J.D., is an American lawyer and former Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) pastor who became a Southern Baptist.[2][3] He is the founding member and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel law firm since 1989.

Personal life and career[edit]

Staver received his B.A. in theology from Southern Missionary College, his M.A. in Religion from Andrews University, and his J.D. from the University of Kentucky. During college he began a process which led him to later leave the SDA church and eventually attended a Southern Baptist church.[2][3]

As a Young Earth creationist who believes that intelligent design should be taught in public schools, Staver also opposes Darwinian evolution.[4]

He has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States twice and has argued before most of the federal courts of appeals.[5]

He authored nine books, including Faith and Freedom: A Complete Handbook for Defending Your Religious Rights, Religion and the Future of America, Religious Expression in Public Schools, Judicial Tyranny; Political Activity of Nonprofit Organizations, Union Membership and its Constitutional Implications, Take Back America, and Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk. He has also authored law review and journal articles on a variety of topics, including "Disestablishmentarianism Collides With the First Amendment: The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson Still Haunts Churches", and "Lifting the Veil: An Expose on the American Bar Association's Arbitrary and Capricious Accreditation Process". Staver is a constitutional litigator and conducts hundreds of media interviews each year.[6]

Staver served as Liberty University's law school dean from 2006 to 2014.

In 2011 he was added to the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, which was started by Senator Grassley.[7]

Staver has been a frequent guest speaker at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.[8] In 2012 he was presented with the Champion of Justice award by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.[9]

As of October 2015, Staver stated that 100,000 people gathered in Peru to support his client, Kim Davis, in support of her refusal to issue marriage licenses. The event in question has since been proven to have happened over a year ago and was unrelated to Davis.[10] Liberty Counsel issued a press release afterwards stating that Staver relied on a member of the Peruvian Congress for the information on the rally.[11]

Legal cases[edit]

In 1994 Staver argued the Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc. at the United States Supreme Court, representing individuals who fought a court order banning protesters from interfering with those entering or exiting the clinic within a 36-foot buffer zone. The Court ultimately ruled 6-3 striking down the 300-foot zone around people going in and out of the clinic and striking down the prohibition against images "observable" from inside the clinic.[12] The court upheld the 36-foot buffer zone.[13] An audio recording of the case was made by the Supreme Court.[14]

In 2012 Staver argued a case[15] at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia on behalf of Liberty University against the Affordable Care Act. On July 12, 2013, the Fourth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act over Liberty's arguments against the "employer mandate."[16]

Staver also represents Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who has fought issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples based on her religious objection.[17]


External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Bruce Green
Dean of Liberty University School of Law
2006 – 2014
Succeeded by
Business positions
Preceded by
New position
Chairman of Liberty Counsel
Succeeded by