Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss

The POWER List 2023: Michael Whitehead

Michael K. Whitehead Whitehead Law Firm, Lee’s Summit

As of last year, Michael Whitehead has won before the U.S. Supreme Court three times now for religious liberty claims.

The first of those cases was Widmar v. Vincent. The high court held that University of Missouri-Kansas City couldn’t bar a student religious group from holding meetings in a campus building in 1981.

In 2017, he returned to the court in a case that built on that precedent. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia was turned away from a state grant program to rebuild its daycare playground with recycled tire scraps. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer determined via a 7-2 majority that the daycare couldn’t be declined for its religiosity.

Whitehead and his son, Jonathan Whitehead, returned once again for a Maine case, Carson v. Makin. Once again citing the last two cases, the court ruled in 2022 that Maine’s tuition aid program for rural students without access to public schools must also extend to students attending private religious schools.

Whitehead earned his law degree from the University of Missouri in 1975.

The POWER List: Appellate Law 2023