Erik W. Stanley

Erik W. Stanley serves with Alliance Defending Freedom as senior counsel and director of the Center for Christian Ministries. He oversees all litigation efforts to maintain the autonomy of the church and to ensure its freedoms are protected under the First Amendment.

In addition, Stanley serves as the founding director of the ADF Church Alliance. In this role, he leads the nonprofit membership organization, designed to protect the right of churches to minister freely and to engage in defense of religious liberty.

Stanley has been actively litigating religious liberty cases since 1999. He joined ADF in 2007, where he has focused on protecting the First Amendment freedoms of churches and religious ministries. Stanley’s steadfast representation of clients has resulted in extensive media coverage. In 2014, he served as lead counsel for the “Houston 5,” five pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by the city of Houston. In 2017, Stanley was part of the team that argued the U.S. Supreme Court case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, securing a 7-2 victory mandating equal treatment for churches.

Stanley received his Masters of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1999 from Temple University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in the top five percent of his class. He is a member of the bar in Florida, Kansas, Arizona, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts. 

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