Adam Laxalt's new solicitor general was involved with controversial group dedicated to creating network of Christian lawyers

Lawrence VanDyke, named Wednesday as AG-elect Adam Laxalt's solicitor general, is not just a reliable social conservative like his new boss but once did a fellowship with a group that believes in "complete and total dependence upon God for everything."

Several media outlets, including The New York Times, have detailed VanDyke's social conservatism, including his advocacy for creationism and against Roe v. Wade. But his roots in those beliefs go much deeper.

In 2003, Van Dyke, a Harvard Law grad who recently lost a Montana Supreme Court race, was a Blackstone fellow with the Alliance Defense Fund, which later became the Alliance for Defending Freedom. The fellowship is described in a public tax filing as essentially designed to train a network of Christian lawyers to populate important legal positions up to the U.S. Supreme Court:

A rigorous internship for exceptionally capable and highly motivated law students, the Blackstone Fellowship inspires a distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law, and particularly in the areas of public policy and religious liberty . With this ongoing program, it's ADF's goal to train a new generation of lawyers who will rise to positions of influence and leadership as legal scholars, litigators, judges - and perhaps even Supreme Court Justices - who will work to ensure that justice is carried out in America's courtrooms . 

And more: When the Fellows have completed the program, they've gained practical experience, forged relationships with likeminded attorneys, and caught a vision for how God can use them as judges, law professors, and practicing attorneys to help keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel in America. 

How God can use them. Interesting.

The core value is described in the court filing thusly: ADF is in complete and total dependence upon God
for everything . The means by which ADF acknowledges its dependence on God is through prayer . 

The group has been the target of investigative pieces by various left-wing groups, including Think Progress, which pointed out in May that the legal fellowship is described as one that "seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries.”


When Van Dyke was running this year for the Montana high court, a blogger pointed out his connection to ADF and linked to research on the group from a pro-choice activist site.

Laxalt, a gay-marriage foe who has written derisively about homosexuals, has said his views would not affect how he carries out his job. But you would have to excuse any of his skeptics if this hire makes them suspicious.