Bios: Spokespersons


Robert "Skip" Ash is the ACLJ's senior litigation counsel for National Security Law. Emphasizing in national security law and First Amendment Law, Ash is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and served 22 years on active duty as a U.S. Army officer which included serving as a military strategist for the Secretary of Defense in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Plans in the Pentagon. 

A graduate of Regent University School of Law, Ash also serves as a member of the faculties of the School of Law and the Robertson School of Government at Regent where he teaches courses on national security law, international law, First Amendment law and legal research.


Matthew Clark

Matthew Clark is senior counsel for digital advocacy with the ACLJ in the Washington, D.C., headquarters. Matthew Clark has authored numerous articles on critical constitutional and policy matters facing our nation and the fight for human rights worldwide for publications such as the The Washington Post, Washington Times,, and the ACLJ’s Docket Blog. Prior to rejoining the ACLJ, where he clerked in law school, Matthew Clark served as judicial law clerk for the Honorable Walter S. Felton, Jr. chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Matthew Clark earned a Juris Doctor and master's degree in public policy from Regent University, where he served as the founder and editor-in-chief of the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy.



Cece Heil is senior counsel specializing in public policy and global legal matters, including those before the United Nations. She heads a team of lawyers handling cases in defense of life, protection of U.S. national security interests and dealing with Islamic extremism. 

Before joining the ACLJ, Heil worked in private practice in Missouri and Tennessee serving as counsel to many internationally recognized clients and is on the board of several national ministries. She is a recognized leader in her work to have pro-family, pro-life and pro-free enterprise policies enacted, including being a candidate for Congress. Her service and knowledge as a Constitutional scholar earned her the support of Sarah Palin and was one of a handful of candidates named as a "Mama Grizzly" by the former Alaska governor. 

Heil is a 1992 graduate of Regent University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in California, Missouri and Tennessee.



Francis "Frank" Manion is senior counsel with the ACLJ who emphasizes First Amendment law and pro-life legal matters before state and federal courts. 

A 1980 graduate of Seton Hall School of Law, Manion honed his litigation skills with more than 15 years of experience as a trial attorney in private law firms where he served as trial counsel on behalf of pro-life demonstrators. He joined the ACLJ in 1996 and emphasizes protecting constitutional rights in the public school, the work environment and the public arena. 

Manion also defends the public displays of the Ten Commandments and other historic displays that are part of our nation's heritage. He also focuses on safeguarding the rights of medical personnel who are often required by employers to violate their consciences and religious beliefs by participating in pregnancy-ending procedures.



Colby May is senior counsel and director of the ACLJ's Washington office. May represents members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on legislative initiatives involving national security, abortion, marriage and pornography. With the ACLJ since 1994, May emphasizes federal litigation, regulatory proceedings, communications and technology, nonprofit tax issues and First Amendment law. 

May—a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law—has argued, participated in or acted as amici curiae counsel in several landmark cases including Branch Ministries, Inc. v. Richardson, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, National Interfaith Cable v. FCC, and National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley. 

He also serves on the board of directors of many civic organizations including the Enterprise Development International, Inc., a public charity fostering development in emerging countries, and Enough is Enough!, a pro-family organization working to make the internet safe for children.



Geoffrey Surtees is senior counsel with the ACLJ specializing in religious civil liberties cases. Geoff is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies (summa cum laude) from the Pontifical Lateran University. Since joining the ACLJ as an attorney in 2001, Geoff has been active in a wide array of First Amendment cases, including the free-speech rights of pro-life demonstrators and public-school students. He has also participated in cases involving the conscience rights of medical personnel and the religious rights of public and private employees.



Edward White is senior counsel with the ACLJ and has been practicing law for more than twenty years. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he was a Thomas J. White Center for Law & Government Scholar and managing and student articles editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy. He began his legal career as a law clerk for three judges at the U.S. District and District Court of Appeals levels. After his judicial clerkships, White worked as an associate in a products liability law firm. He then served for five years as an assistant United States attorney, handling federal civil and criminal cases at the trial and appellate court levels.

Since 2000, White has been specializing in civil rights litigation, representing clients across the country primarily in the areas of free speech, religious freedom, sanctity of human life and traditional family values.