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Clarke Forsythe, J.D.

Senior Counsel

Clarke Forsythe serves as Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life and is author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade. 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.” Abuse of Discretion has been favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, First Things, World Magazine, National Review, and other journals.

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. Other leading newspapers that have published his articles or quoted him include the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. His more than three decades 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.

Clarke's articles include "A Draft Opinion Overruling Roe v. Wade," published in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, “A Road Map Through the Supreme Court’s Back Alley,” published in the Villanova Law Review and “Roe v. Wade and the Legal Implications of State Constitutional ‘Personhood’ Amendments,” published in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.

Clarke's first book, Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square, draws on lessons in political prudence from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Lincoln, and Wilberforce. 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.