David A. French

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David A. French
David French by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Personal details
David Austin French

(1969-01-24) January 24, 1969 (age 50)
Georgetown, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (until 2018)
Independent (2018–)
Spouse(s)Nancy French
EducationLipscomb University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
RankArmy-USA-OF-03.svg Major
UnitSeal of the United States Army Reserve.svg United States Army Reserve
AwardsBronze Star[1]

David Austin French (born January 24, 1969) is an American attorney, journalist, and author.

Early life and education[edit]

French earned a B.A. degree from Lipscomb University in 1991[2] and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1994.[3]


French has served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom,[4] has lectured at Cornell Law School and spent much of his career working on religious-rights issues.[5] He served as president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).[6] French retired from FIRE in 2005, citing plans to serve in the United States Army Reserve as a Judge Advocate General officer.[7][better source needed] A staff writer for National Review[6] and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute,[8] French has authored several books.[6]

Military service[edit]

French is a former major in the United States Army Reserve[9] and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[6] French was deployed to Iraq in 2007 during the Iraq War, serving in Diyala Governorate as Squadron Judge Advocate.[10] He was awarded a Bronze Star.[11]

Potential 2016 U.S. presidential campaign[edit]

In January 2016, French said that he would vote for Donald Trump if he became the Republican nominee; he later changed his mind and said he would not vote for Trump.[12][13] Political commentator Bill Kristol, a supporter of the Stop Trump movement, named French as his choice to run for U.S. President as an independent conservative candidate to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Trump on May 31.[14] On June 5, French announced that he had considered running, but ultimately decided not to.[15][16] In a June 18, 2016 interview with The Daily Herald, French revealed that he had strongly considered entering the presidential race, but ultimately decided that he did not have the name recognition or the financial support to mount a viable campaign.[17]

Attacks by the alt-right[edit]

In 2016, French and his wife and family were the subject of online attacks when he criticized then presidential candidate Donald Trump and the alt-right. French was bombarded with hateful tweets, including an image of his child in a gas chamber.[18]

Personal life[edit]

French is an evangelical Christian[19] who is married to author Nancy French.[16] French and his family have lived in Columbia, Tennessee since 2006.[20] They have three children, including a daughter adopted from Ethiopia.[11]


  • A Season for Justice: Defending the Rights of the Christian Church, Home, and School. Broadman & Holman. 2002. ISBN 0-8054-2491-1. OCLC 50200709.[21]
  • Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War. Center Street. 2011. ISBN 978-1-931722-90-2. OCLC 668192277. With Nancy French.[22]
  • The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. Howard Books. 2014. ISBN 978-1-5011-0513-5. OCLC 890621915. With Jay Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow and Robert Ash.[23]


  1. ^ Corbett, Erin (May 31, 2016). "Who Is David French? Bill Kristol Has Suggested A Third-Party Candidate To Run Against Trump". Bustle. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  2. ^ "David French Mediation Attorney – Child Custody Mediation Attorney in Kentucky". Mediation. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  3. ^ "ADF files lawsuit to stop ongoing attacks on religious groups at the University of Wisconsin". Alliance Defending Freedom. November 9, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  4. ^ Morrow, Brendan (May 31, 2016). "David French: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  5. ^ Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (2019-09-12). "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  6. ^ a b c d Nast, Condé. "Who Is David French, the Third-Party Conservative Who Might Be Running for President?". GQ.
  7. ^ "A Personal Message from FIRE President David French". November 11, 2005. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  8. ^ David French (March 22, 2017). "The Left Distorts Originalism to Attack Judge Gorsuch". National Review. Retrieved March 24, 2017. Having failed to undermine Gorsuch’s nomination on substantive grounds, liberals are now using a straw-man argument instead
  9. ^ "'National Review' Writer And Former Service Member On Defining Patriotism". NPR.org.
  10. ^ Stanley, Paul (September 16, 2011). "Nancy French Talks About Career as Mom, Wife and Bestselling Author". Christian Post. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Easley, Jonathan (June 5, 2016). "Who is David French?". The Hill. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  12. ^ Giaritelli, Anna (June 1, 2016). "Watch David French say he'd vote for Donald Trump". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  13. ^ French, David (June 5, 2016). "Why I Changed My Mind and Joined the #NeverTrump Movement". National Review. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  14. ^ Matthews, Dylan (May 31, 2016). "Meet David French: the random dude off the street that Bill Kristol decided will save America from Trump". Vox. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  15. ^ French, David (June 5, 2016). "I'm Not Running for President". National Review. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Halperin, Mark; Heilemann, John (May 31, 2016). "Kristol Eyes Conservative Lawyer David French for Independent Presidential Run". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  17. ^ Bennett, James (June 18, 2016). "David French came 'really close' to running for president". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Harassed On Twitter: 'People Need To Know The Reality Of What It's Like Out There'". NPR. October 26, 2016.
  19. ^ Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (2019-09-12). "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  20. ^ Ross, Janell (June 1, 2016). "Who, exactly, is David French, the 'Never Trump' white knight candidate?". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "Tuesday, Nov. 10: National Review's David French Lecture". Iowa State University. November 10, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ McDevitt, Caitlin (July 12, 2011). "Meet Bristol Palin's ghostwriter". Politico. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  23. ^ "Rise of ISIS". USA Today. June 21, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2016.

External links[edit]