Separate But Faithful: The Christian Right’s Radical Struggle to Transform Law and Legal Culture (Oxford University Press, 2020), is an in-depth examination of the efforts to build a comprehensive Christian conservative legal movement. Drawing on original data from a variety of sources, we look at the conditions that gave rise to a set of distinctly “Christian Worldview” law schools and legal institutions and use the collection to advance “support structure” theories of policy-motivated litigation. Further, we analyze these institutions’ missions and cultural makeup and evaluate their transformative impacts on law and legal culture to date. In doing so, we find that this movement, while struggling to influence the legal and political mainstream, has succeeded in establishing a Christian conservative beacon of resistance; a separate but faithful space from which to incrementally challenge the dominant legal culture. We also present two models for understanding the processes and choices made when constructing legal movements that we hope will be applied to a broader range of case studies. As mentioned above, the book is a 2021 Honorable Mention recipient for the Hubert Morken Best Book in Religion and Politics Award given by the American Political Science Association’s Religion & Politics section.

This link leads to the University of Denver Livingston Lecture webinar I delivered in Spring 2020 covering some of the contextual history that gave rise to the Christian Right and the subsequent Christian conservative legal movement. Links to other recorded talks addressing the book can be found in the “Conservatism, the Christian Right, & the Christian Conservative Legal Movement” section of this webpage.

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The Street Politics of Abortion: Speech, Violence, and America’s Culture Wars (Stanford Uni Press, 2013), grows from the interviews that I conducted with various differently situated actors in three abortion-conflicts-turned-court cases. These three studies concern the regulation of clinic-front anti-abortion activism, how each side in these conflicts was variably able to mobilize law (often in unexpected ways), and how these conflicts reshaped modern American abortion politics.

New States Cover

The New States of Abortion Politics (Stanford Uni Press, 2016), is the bridge between my abortion politics research and my collaborative work on the Christian conservative legal movement. The New States is a brief, highly accessible book that uses the 2014 US Supreme Court case of McCullen v. Coakley to give both an overview, and specifics, of the past, present, and possible future of American abortion politics. The book’s second section serves as the link to Separate But Faithful in that it focuses on a major Christian conservative public interest legal organization — Alliance Defending Freedom — that was instrumental in McCullen v. Coakley. This link leads to a brief video recorded interview about the book.