Americans United for Life | Clarke Forsythe
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Clarke Forsythe

Senior Counsel


Clarke Forsythe is Senior Counsel for AUL and author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, published by Encounter Books in 2013. Abuse of Discretion has been favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, First Things, World Magazine, National Review, and other journals. Jeffrey Rosen, President of the National Constitution Center, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “Abuse of Discretion provides a cautionary tale about the political and constitutional hazards of unnecessarily broad Supreme Court decisions.”

Clarke has argued cases before federal and state courts and has testified before Congress and state legislatures. He is also a prolific writer on pro-life policy issues, having published more than 19 law review articles and book chapters, as well as articles in First Things, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review Online. Other leading newspapers that have published his articles or quoted him include the New York Timesthe Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Washington Times, the Washington Postthe Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. His 31 years of service to AUL since 1985 include serving for six years as Vice President and General Counsel, overseeing our nationwide litigation and legislation strategy, and serving as President for ten years.

His recent articles include “A Road Map Through the Supreme Court’s Back Alley” published in the Villanova Law Review. A forthcoming issue of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy will publish his article, “Roe v. Wade and the Legal Implications of State Constitutional ‘Personhood’ Amendments.”

His first book, Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square, which draws on lessons in political prudence from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Lincoln and Wilberforce, was published by InterVarsity Press in 2009. First Things called it “an essential book for lawmakers and all participants in the ongoing culture wars.”

Clarke has a B.A. in Political Science from Allegheny College, a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, and an M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University (2006), where he is an adjunct professor of bioethics.

Abuse of Discretion

Based on twenty years of research, Clarke Forsythe’s Abuse of Discretion is a critical review of the behind-the-scenes deliberations that went into the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions and how the mistakes made by the Justices from 1971 to 1973 have led to the turmoil we see today in legislation, politics, and public health.

Book Reviews/Interviews:

To schedule an interview, please contact AUL Communications at

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