Bachmann adds Jay Sekulow to list of constitution class teachers
Rep. Michele Bachmann has added religious right attorney Jay Sekulow to her list of instructors at her Tea Party Caucus constitutional classes. Sekulow is the head of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a conservative religious law group televangelist Pat Robertson founded because he thought the American Civil Liberties Union was “hostile to traditional American values.” Sekulow joins Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and controversial history revisionist David Barton as an invitee of Bachmann to teach the courses.
Sekulow got his start by founding Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) in 1990 to ensure the religious right has a voice in court cases involving the separation of church and state and abortion cases.
“I look for every opportunity God gives me in the courtroom to share the gospel,” he once said, adding that the religious right has a “cultural mandate” to change society in God’s image. “By whatever ethical means necessary, we need to engage in this struggle,” he said.
Sekulow’s work has come under some criticism from the legal community who see his legal empire as a way to support his “high-flying lifestyle.”
According to a 2005 profile in Legal Times, “Sekulow, through the ACLJ and a string of interconnected nonprofit and for-profit entities, has built a financial empire that generates millions of dollars a year and supports a lavish lifestyle — complete with multiple homes, chauffeur-driven cars, and a private jet that he once used to ferry Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”
Bachmann was on Sekulow’s radio show on Thursday and invited him to teach her courses, according to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch:
Bachmann: Our opening speaker was Justice Antonin Scalia. We had both Democrats and Republicans – we had four Democrat members of Congress. It was very civil, it was very open and we hope to invite all of the Supreme Court Justices to come and speak to us. But we also hope to have people like yourself, Jay – we’ve invited you to come and speak to members of Congress, to speak about the Constitution. The topic will be up to the speakers choice but the whole purpose and intent is to have members thinking about the Constitution and our limitations under the Constitution. That has not been a focus here in Congress in recent years. We intend to change that and this was a very good first meeting this week.
Sekulow: I look forward to participating [and] we appreciate you’re not only representing the people of your district, you’re representing all of use that share the concerns and the desire to see Constitutional Conservatism placed forward and Congresswoman, thanks for being with us and thanks for the bold stand you are taking in Washington.
Bachmann: Thank you. You’re wonderful and thank you for your ministry.