King’s Alumni and Dobbs v. Jackson

The King’s College is pleased to highlight the work of several recent graduates whose work dovetails with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson.

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The King’s College is pleased to acknowledge and highlight the work of several recent graduates whose work dovetails with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The work of these young alumni is the fruit of the College’s commitment to train students to engage culture and influence our world with a biblical worldview, including honoring the dignity of all persons as bearers of the imago Dei.

One of these graduates is Josh Craddock (PPE ’13). Josh has been involved in pro-life work since his childhood, as he helped his parents in their family’s ministry to pregnant women and their babies. Josh’s support of the pro-life movement grew while he was at King’s, where he used an internship at the United Nations to lobby in support of the unborn and the family. He also hosted a UN event with medical experts on abortion issues, which was attended by more than 250 diplomats and civil society representatives.

Josh with his wife Caroline, also a King’s graduate (PPE ’14) (Photo courtesy of Josh Craddock).

It was in associate professor of politics Dr. David Tubbs’s Constitutional Law class that Josh’s life was most impacted while at King’s. Dr. Tubbs introduced Josh to the world of constitutional law and helped him to understand the arguments used by the Supreme Court to support abortion in Roe v. Wade. After taking the class, Josh wrote his senior thesis under the supervision of Dr. Tubbs, arguing that the Constitution’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses extend their protection to unborn children under the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Josh’s thesis examined the history of the common law and statutory history, showing that a majority of states prohibited abortion at all stages when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. Because of this, there is no basis in our country’s history and tradition that supports an unenumerated “right to abortion.”

Later, after Josh began studying at Harvard Law School, he revised and published his senior thesis as a law review article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. It has since become one of the most widely-read law review articles on abortion and the Constitution. The originalist historical argument that Josh advanced in his Harvard article was then cited in an amicus brief in the Dobbs case, which was filed by Professors John Finnis of Oxford University, a mentor of Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Robert P. George of Princeton University. Josh’s findings coincide with the historical conclusions reached by Justice Samuel Alito in the majority opinion in Dobbs.

Josh is proud of the work he has done to help advance the cause of life in the United States. “Dobbs is the most important Supreme Court decision of my lifetime,” Josh said. “It enables states to protect the most vulnerable among us by love and by law, and it brings us one step closer to restoring a culture of life in America.”

Bethany receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service from Attorney General William Barr (Photo courtesy of Bethany Pickett).

Bethany Pickett (PPE ’12) is another King’s graduate whose work intersected with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision. She helped to confirm two of the justices who issued the majority decision. After Bethany graduated from Northwestern Law School, she worked at the White House as Deputy Associate Counsel to the President and at the Department of Justice. During her time in D.C., Bethany worked on the Supreme Court confirmations of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Bethany was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for her contributions to the Department of Justice.

Bethany credits King’s for preparing her to effect change in our legal system. “The King’s education is unmatched because the school does not hesitate to teach timeless Truths,” Bethany said. “Indeed, Professor David Tubbs’s Constitutional Law class was more valuable than any class I took in law school.”

David Tubbs said, “Having taught Constitutional Law at King’s since 2005, I am deeply gratified to see the work that our alumni are doing in the realm of law. Their achievements are striking.” He continued, “King’s is unusual among American colleges in requiring Politics, Philosophy, and Economics majors to study the Constitution. And because of our core curriculum, I know that all King’s graduates are very well prepared when beginning law school.”

(Left to right) Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher, Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart (who argued Dobbs v. Jackson before the Supreme Court), and Elle Rogers during an event at the University of Chicago Law School on “Litigating for Life.” (Photo Credit: Carl Miller).

While Elle Rogers (PHL ’19) is still in law school at the University of Chicago, she’s emerging as another King’s graduate who is making a difference for the pro-life cause. Elle is the leader of the University of Chicago’s Law Students for Life, leading the group in advocating for a legal system that recognizes both the humanity of the unborn and the dignity of the family. She spearheads the work, despite the unpopularity of their positions within the student body. In honor of her work, Elle was recently selected as one of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s “Top 20 Under 30” students and alumni.

King’s also has several alumni who work and volunteer with Avail, a nonpolitical and nonprofit organization in New York City that serves the complex needs of women and men who face an unexpected pregnancy or have experienced abortion loss. Avail’s mission is to walk alongside women and men and provide a confidential and compassionate space for them to process their emotions, discern their values, identify their needs, discover solutions, and find hope. In an email to Avail’s community, Avail CEO Chris Whitford mentioned her passion to continue “to meet women and men at their point of need… and love them as God loves us all.” The House of Susan B. Anthony at King’s has also served with and supported Avail as their House’s service partner.

The King’s College is thrilled to see alumni using their gifts and talents to engage culture and work to promote the flourishing of all humans. King’s is an educational institution firmly grounded in the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview. Our core curriculum emphasizes the disciplines of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, which provide the framework to help students explore who we are as human beings: what and how we believe (Philosophy), how we live together and govern ourselves, despite our differences (Politics), and how money and resources influence human flourishing (Economics). We emphasize these truths and principles in a Socratic spirit, studying historical answers to life’s big questions. Current events like the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling regularly show their continued vitality.

President Tim Gibson said, “The King’s College chooses to be in New York City in order to prepare our students to engage contemporary issues facing our culture through the lens of a biblical worldview. We understand the importance of being ‘in the fray.’ The work of these King’s graduates is a concrete expression of our mission in action.”

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