Despite the Humanist movement’s long history of using the courts to stand up for our rights, no Humanist group has ever had more than a handful of lawyers assisting with the process. To address this, and to ensure that our constitutional rights are represented in court, the American Humanist Association launched the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) in 2006. Through amicus activity, litigation, and other legal advocacy, our team of cooperating lawyers, including Humanist luminaries such as Jim McCollum, Wendy Kaminer, and Michael Newdow, provides legal assistance to defend the constitutional rights of religious and secular minorities by directly challenging clear violations of the Establishment Clause and seeking equal rights for humanists, atheists and other freethinkers.
The Appignani Humanist Legal Center is always looking for qualified Humanist-minded attorneys to join our legal team in the fight to defend the separation of church and state and equal rights for humanists, atheists, and other freethinkers.
If you would like to join our list of cooperating pro-bono attorneys and lend whatever support you can to our cause, please contact us. We also welcome inquiries from law students who would like to apply for an internship with the legal center.
If you have encountered a violation of the separation of church and state or discrimination against humanists, atheists, or other freethinkers please contact us!
May 16, 2013 – Read the AHLC’s letter to school officials in Fayette, Missouri, demanding an end public school prayer sessions at Fayette High School.
May 1, 2013 – Read our complaint against Carrol Country, Maryland challenging the Board of Commissioners’ practice of opening its meetings with Commissioner-delivered sectarian prayers.
April 24, 2013 – Read our complaint against the Rankin Country School District challenging the Christian messages in its mandatory student assemblies.
February 27, 2013 – Read the American Humanist Association’s amicus brief for the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case addressing Proposition 8.
February 27, 2013 – Read the American Humanist Association’s amicus brief for the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case addressing The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
May 16, 2013 – The American Humanist Association’s legal center sent a letter to school officials in Fayette, Missouri, demanding they take steps to end weekly morning prayer sessions held by a teacher at Fayette High School
May 1, 2013 – Today, the American Humanist Association sued the Board of Commissioners in Carroll County, Maryland for opening its meetings with Commissioner-delivered sectarian prayers.
April 25, 2013 – The legal center has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Rankin County, Mississippi school district to challenge its recent mandatory student assemblies that presented a Christian message as a violation of the separation of church and state.
Feb. 27, 2013 – The American Humanist Association has submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to uphold lower court decisions ruling that laws that deny legal recognition to the marriages of gays and lesbians are unconstitutionally discriminatory.
February 8, 2013 – Following the legal center’s intervention, the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry will be able to participate in the YMCA’s Flowertown Festival in Summerville, South Carolina, alongside other community groups.