Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the founder and President of the Pacific Justice Institute, Brad Dacus, to the newsmaker line to explain what the organization is doing to help ensure American’s freedoms, liberties, and values.
Leahy: We’re joined now on our newsmaker line by Brad Dacus, the president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute. Good morning, Brad.
Dacus: Oh, good morning.
Leahy: So tell us a little bit about the Pacific Justice Institute. When did you found it? Why did you found it?
Dacus: Yes, I founded it in 1997, starting in California, to defend religious freedom and parental rights against the government, and the sanctity of human life. We now have 25 years – fast forward, we now have offices coast to coast. And in fact, I was just recently in Nashville and I’m going to be there again next month, and we’re actually looking to open an office there in Nashville to serve people. We do all our work without charge.
We now have over 100 cases in active litigation defending these basic civil liberties and we’re looking to actually even hire an attorney there.
Simon: Good for you.
Dacus: That’s what is interesting. It’s a blue blotch in a red state and it’s keeping us busy. So we need to have an office out there.
Leahy: So what are the qualifications for our listening audience? There are a number of conservative attorneys in our listening audience. What are the qualifications? What are you looking for?
Dacus: We’re looking for just an attorney who has some experience in the courtroom and has a keen appreciation for our constitutional rights and religious freedom et cetera, and is a team player.
Leahy: What are the cases that you are involved in here in Tennessee?
Dacus: In Tennessee, we’ve got some issues dealing with employees who are losing their jobs because of their sincere religious convictions about controversial COVID vaccines that now have been determined to no longer be successful.
Simon: Essentially you’re up against the governor, in a way.
Dacus: Yes, that’s a bit of an issue. Definitely. Then we’ve got other cases like in California, defending churches’ ability to have a private preschool without the state of California ordering them not to have their faith involved in their preschool.
I mean private preschools by a church should be able to pray and do things like that. Well, California says no. We filed a major lawsuit there.
And then up in Washington State, we’re suing in a lawsuit defending a church against Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is complaining because the outdoor church services nearby are costing them business. (Leahy and Simon laugh) Yeah. So I love that case.
Simon: That would make a great film comedy.
Leahy: Hey, Brad, so let’s talk about this: Under the Biden maladministration, are we seeing more national/federal usurpations upon state’s rights and individual rights? And what does that mean for organizations like yours?
Dacus: Yes, without question. We’re going to see it manifest, I think even more zealously to the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. With the Biden administration, we saw a lot of ganging up and targeting conservative or religious organizations.
I think we’re going to see that there. Also, the Department of Education is pushing curriculum and books on schools, ordering public schools so they can’t have school lunch programs.
Simon: Wow, you’re doing great work, sir. I just have to say it. I admire you.
Dacus: Thank you. The Biden administration’s keeping us busy, but we’re also very grateful for the former administration and the courts helping us as well.
Simon: The IRS thing is really dangerous.
Dacus: Very, very dangerous. And so we’re going to be aggressively taking them on as needed. And so we’re keeping very busy.
But we are very grateful for the court appointments of the former administration. As I said, it’s going to help us a lot moving forward, especially with the Supreme Court we have now.
Leahy: So let’s talk a little bit about the Pacific Justice Institute. Are you based in the Sacramento area? Where are you based?
Dacus: Sacramento is our legal headquarters where our chief council resides. But we have offices, though, like in Miami, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, all over the country.
Leahy: So, let me encourage you. Why don’t you just think about moving your headquarters here to Nashville? Let me make the case. Are you ready?
Dacus: I’m ready.
Leahy: We have no state income tax.
Dacus: Yes, I know. It’s a beautiful green state with wonderful people. I drove from Nashville out there to the Tri-Cities, Knoxville.
Leahy: Isn’t that pretty?
Dacus: Chattanooga. I love the people of Tennessee. I felt more at home. I used to live in Texas, and I felt like I was back home.
Simon: I used to live in Los Angeles, and I feel more at home here, too.
Dacus: Yes, Nashville is a great place. And when I was there, I was visiting actually a number of people from our church that actually moved out there to Nashville. the Franklin area, of course.
Simon: Exactly. It feels like half of California is moving to Franklin.
Leahy: Do you live in Northern California or Southern California, Brad?
Dacus: I live in Southern California. We have an administrative media office down in Southern California. That’s where I live at the time. But you have a beautiful state, and there’s a reason a lot of Californians are moving there.
Leahy: Yes, there is. And you are the kind of Californian we want to move here. And so I’m unofficially the ambassador for the state of Tennessee. Every time I get a guest on who’s a conservative, I make the case for them to move here.
But next time you’re here, we’re here next week, we’ll help you kind of look around for offices. We’ll show you some houses here.
Simon: You’re going full-bore there.
Leahy: Because, Brad really in your heart, Brad, you’re a freedom-loving Tennessean.
Simon: I have a question for you. How do people who are non-lawyers but want to support you do that? Are you guys a 501(c)(3) three, or what are you?
Dacus: Yes, we are. Thank you. Yes. They just simply need to go to our website at pji.org – Pacific Justice Institute – and then they can sign to get our weekly newsletters and keep up with our cases. We have, like I said, over 100 cases in active litigation, and we really appreciate the support.
That’s how we’re able to do what we do. We don’t get money from the government or George Soros. It’s moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, and freedom-loving churches out there that support our work.
Leahy: Are you finding that you’re getting more and more contributions as the usurpations of the federal government accelerate?
Dacus: Yes. More and more people are seeing the threat of the government from so many different angles and threats to the state, and their freedoms and liberties. So we’re definitely busy.
We’ve grown very quickly over the last two to three years, and we’re simply meeting the needs out there. And as we meet the needs, people say, wow, this organization is for real.
They’re really doing something. They’re seeing results. Let’s get behind them. And that’s why we’re growing. And God has been very gracious throughout the whole process.
Leahy: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our constitutional republic?
Dacus: I’m still optimistic, at least for the short term, because of our court judges that have been placed there. The Supreme Court is the best Supreme Court in my lifetime, probably. Long-term, there’s a fight for America and fight for our values and our appreciation for freedoms and liberties.
I’m a little more concerned in the long term, but short-term, and intermediate-term, I’m very optimistic. I think we’re going to see some progress and set some great case law moving forward for our liberties.
Listen to the interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Brad Discus” by Pacific Justice Institute.