President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society
Tom Brejcha brings 45 years of legal experience to his work as president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, and he has been fighting court battles for pro-lifers for over 26 years.
Tom grew up on Chicago’s South Side. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a varsity debater, helped draft the school’s first honor code, chaired the Student Advisory Board of the College of Arts & Letters, and won a President’s Medallion from Fr. Hesburgh. He won a Root-Tilden Scholarship to New York University School of Law, where he was the Note & Comment Editor and a Member of the Executive Board of the Law Review and served as Class Representative for Root-Tilden Scholars.
As an Army Captain in Vietnam from 1969-70, Tom was awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, he joined a Chicago law firm led by Barnabas F. Sears, a famous trial lawyer who was then serving as Special Prosecutor investigating police shootings of Black Panther leaders. Tom went on to become a successful business litigator in antitrust, securities, labor and other cases—including two cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1986, Tom volunteered to assist the principal named defendants in the infamous N.O.W. v. Scheidler case and became lead defense counsel in this epic-scale federal class action lawsuit brought by the National Organization for Women and abortion providers against pro-life leaders and organizations. The abortion plaintiffs charged that a “million co-conspirators” had banded together under Joe Scheidler and others in a vast national conspiracy to conduct pro-life activities in violation of the federal antitrust, extortion, and racketeering (“RICO”) laws. The abortion forces sought a nationwide federal injunction limiting protests, triple damages and attorney’s fees that would bankrupt the pro-lifers. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court on three different occasions. A prolonged trial was held in Chicago in 1998, which culminated in a jury’s award of triple damages and the Judge’s entry of a nationwide injunction decree against the pro-lifers. Against all odds, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the pro-lifers’ appeal and heard the case a second time. This time the pro-lifers won 8-1 (2003). Yet, the pro-lifers had to appeal again from an adverse lower court ruling. The odds against a third trip to the Supreme Court were seemingly impossible. But the Justices agreed to hear the case a third time, and the pro-lifers nailed down their earlier win, by 8-0 (2006) It took another seven years before the pro-lifers were awarded their out-of-pocket costs (some $64,000, a mere fraction of the actual costs) in May, 2013.
Tom has been invited to testify before Congress (by the late Hon. Henry Hyde, who was a defense witness at the NOW v. Scheidler trial), and he has appeared on national and local broadcast media many times, including on Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, the MSNBC fellow, CNN, 700 Club, Fox News, and other shows. Countless organizations have bestowed awards upon him for his legal work and pro-life commitment, that include Catholic Charities, the Pro-Life Action League, the Pro-Life Action Network, Catholic Citizens of Illinois, National Lawyers Association, the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, the Illinois Students for Life, and pregnancy resource centers.