Non-profit

Thomas More Society

Location:

Chicago, IL

Tax ID:

36-4270023

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $9,611,181
Expenses: $8,727,801
Assets: $2,033,879

Formation:

1998 [20]

The Thomas More Society is a right-leaning public interest legal organization that has been involved in litigation over abortion, religious liberty and the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. [1]

The organization was established in 1997 to represent the rights of pro-life protesters in Chicago, a case the organization eventually won in the U.S. Supreme Court. [2]

Background

The Thomas More Society is a right-leaning public interest legal organization that advocates for religious liberty, opposes abortion, and promotes voter integrity, among other issues. [3]  It provides free legal services in local, state, and federal courts. [4]

The organization is named for English lawyer and political leader Thomas More, who became a saint in the Catholic Church after the government of King Henry VIII executed him for refusing to recognize Henry as supreme leader of the Church of England during the Protestant Reformation. [5]

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Thomas More Society has offices in Nebraska, California, and New Jersey. [6]

The legal group has been deeply involved in litigation opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. The group also sued to get injunctions against the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. [7] In 2021, the group won religious liberty lawsuits on behalf of churches shut down by government-ordered lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. [8]

Founding Case

Tom Brejcha is the founder of the Thomas More Society. As a business lawyer, he got involved in the National Organization for Women v. Scheidler case in 1986 in which the women’s advocacy group sued a group of pro-life protesters alleging conspiracy to prevent women from entering abortion clinics. Brejcha said he initially became involved in the case less for abortion reasons and more for First Amendment reasons. [9]

As the case wound onward, the private law firm Brejcha worked for told him it could not afford the amount of time he was putting into the case. Brejcha quit and started the Thomas More Society as a public interest legal organization in 1997. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Scheidler’s right to protest. [10]

The Thomas More Society released a documentary on the case in March 2021 titled, “Fighting for Life: The Story of NOW v. Scheidler.” [11]

2020 Election

The Thomas More Society amended its bylaws in 2020 to include election integrity among its stated corporate purposes. [12]

Former Kansas Attorney General and Liberty University law professor Phillip Kline became the director of the organization’s Amistad Project. In 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court had suspended Kline’s law license alleging misconduct for his investigations of the abortion industry.[13]

In 2020, the Amistad Project sued in several states to stop the Center for Tech and Civic Life from using millions of dollars donated by billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to pay for local governments to administer elections. The organization claimed the donations violated the Help America Vote Act, which prohibits private election grants without approval from the state legislature. The lawsuits also alleged the money targeted areas to maximize Democratic voting. [14]

The Amistad Project filed election-related lawsuits challenging the vote tallies in state and federal courts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona. Jenna Ellis, a lawyer with the Trump campaign’s post-election legal team, was listed on the Amistad Project’s leadership and advisory board. [15]

Leadership

Tom Brejcha is the president of the Thomas More Society. He founded the organization in 1997. He was previously a business litigator and served in the Army during the Vietnam War in 1969 and 1970. [16]

Andrew Bath is the executive vice president of the Thomas More Society. He is an attorney and the former chairman of the board of the Wisconsin Right to Life Political Action Committee. [17]

Peter Breen is a vice president and general counsel for the Thomas More Society. He was previously a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. [18]

Thomas Olp is a vice president and general counsel for the Thomas More Society. He was previously an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. He also was in private practice in employment law litigation. [19]

References

  1. Thomas More Society. Cause IQ. Accessed June 30, 2021.  https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/thomas-more-society,364270023/ ^
  2. Huppke, Rex W. “Thomas More Society celebrates 15 years on the front line of the culture wars.” The Chicago Tribune. October 6, 2013. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2013-10-06-ct-met-thomas-more-anniversary-20131007-story.html ^
  3. Thomas More Society. Cause IQ. Accessed June 30, 2021.  https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/thomas-more-society,364270023/ ^
  4.   Thomas More Society. LinkedIn. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/thomas-more-society/ ^
  5. Huppke, Rex W. “Thomas More Society celebrates 15 years on the front line of the culture wars.” The Chicago Tribune. October 6, 2013. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2013-10-06-ct-met-thomas-more-anniversary-20131007-story.html ^
  6. Catholic News Service. “New documentary backed by Thomas More Society recounts story of Scheidler’s nearly 30-year court battle.” The Dialog. March 22, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thedialog.org/respect-life/new-documentary-backed-by-thomas-more-society-recounts-story-of-scheidlers-nearly-30-year-court-battle/ ^
  7. Huppke, Rex W. “Thomas More Society celebrates 15 years on the front line of the culture wars.” The Chicago Tribune. October 6, 2013. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2013-10-06-ct-met-thomas-more-anniversary-20131007-story.html ^
  8. Mayberry, Carly. “Two More Churches Prevail in Religious Liberty Cases Against California’s Governor Newsom.” Newsweek. June 3, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/two-more-churches-prevail-religious-liberty-cases-against-californias-governor-newsom-1597333 ^
  9.  Huppke, Rex W. “Thomas More Society celebrates 15 years on the front line of the culture wars.” The Chicago Tribune. October 6, 2013. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2013-10-06-ct-met-thomas-more-anniversary-20131007-story.html ^
  10. Huppke, Rex W. “Thomas More Society celebrates 15 years on the front line of the culture wars.” The Chicago Tribune. October 6, 2013. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2013-10-06-ct-met-thomas-more-anniversary-20131007-story.html ^
  11. Catholic News Service. “New documentary backed by Thomas More Society recounts story of Scheidler’s nearly 30-year court battle.” The Dialog. March 22, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thedialog.org/respect-life/new-documentary-backed-by-thomas-more-society-recounts-story-of-scheidlers-nearly-30-year-court-battle/ ^
  12.  Fraga, Brian. “Religious liberty law firm fighting legal battles over election results.” Our Sunday Visitor. December 10, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://osvnews.com/2020/12/10/religious-liberty-law-firm-fighting-legal-battles-over-election-results/ ^
  13. Fraga, Brian. “Religious liberty law firm fighting legal battles over election results.” Our Sunday Visitor. December 10, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://osvnews.com/2020/12/10/religious-liberty-law-firm-fighting-legal-battles-over-election-results/ ^
  14. Press Release. “Amistad Project: Federal Lawsuits Filed To Challenge Use Of Zuckerberg Millions, Claims Funds Used To Influence Election Outcome In Battleground States.” September 24, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amistad-project-federal-lawsuits-filed-to-challenge-use-of-zuckerberg-millions-claims-funds-used-to-influence-election-outcome-in-battleground-states-301137706.html ^
  15. Fraga, Brian. “Religious liberty law firm fighting legal battles over election results.” Our Sunday Visitor. December 10, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://osvnews.com/2020/12/10/religious-liberty-law-firm-fighting-legal-battles-over-election-results/ ^
  16. Attorneys. Thomas More Society. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thomasmoresociety.org/attorney/ ^
  17. Attorneys. Thomas More Society. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thomasmoresociety.org/attorney/ ^
  18. Attorneys. Thomas More Society. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thomasmoresociety.org/attorney/ ^
  19. Attorneys. Thomas More Society. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://thomasmoresociety.org/attorney/ ^
  20. Thomas More Society. Cause IQ. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/thomas-more-society,364270023/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1999

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $9,611,181 $8,727,801 $2,033,879 $67,031 N $9,572,569 $0 $4,957 $516,236 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $6,061,228 $5,521,863 $1,132,917 $49,449 N $6,050,031 $0 $5,439 $462,456 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $4,702,038 $4,839,610 $590,396 $46,293 N $4,705,464 $0 $1,393 $437,751 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $4,731,943 $4,544,348 $712,345 $30,670 N $4,737,348 $0 $1,525 $277,834
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,137,581 $2,839,678 $526,975 $32,895 N $3,138,621 $0 $709 $220,000 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,354,481 $2,302,621 $236,608 $40,431 N $2,353,891 $0 $446 $306,458 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,052,446 $2,157,957 $166,797 $22,480 N $2,051,698 $0 $590 $190,000 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,892,919 $1,848,480 $267,359 $17,531 N $1,891,687 $0 $963 $190,000 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,681,153 $1,526,738 $212,993 $7,604 N $1,679,257 $0 $552 $190,000 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Thomas More Society

    309 West Washington Street
    Ste 1250
    Chicago, IL 60606