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William J. Olson P.C.
Files 75th Supreme Court Amicus Brief



On August 13, 2014, our firm had the privilege of filing its 75th amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Rudy v. Lee. In addition, we have made 12 other filings in the U.S. Supreme Court (for a total of 87 filings), such as: Petition for Certiorari, Jurisdictional Statement, Appellants' Brief, Reply Brief, and Brief for Intervenor-Respondents.

In addition to statutory issues, these briefs have addressed a wide variety of Constitutional issues:

Article I Section 1 (Delegation Doctrine)
Article I Section 2 (Census, Apportionment Clause)
Article I Section 4 (Time, Places and Manners of Elections)
Article I Section 6 (Speech & Debate Clause)
Article I Section 8 (Commerce Clause, Naturalization Clause, General Welfare Clause, Necessary & Proper Clause)

Article II Section 1 (Delegation Doctrine)
Article II Section 2 (Invasion)
Article II (Appointments Clause, Commander-in-Chief)

Article III, Section 2 (Case and Controversy, Standing, Political Question)
Article III Section 1 (Judicial Power)

Article IV Section IV (Republican Form of Government, Invasion)Article VI (Preemption)

First Amendment (Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, Right to Assemble, Right to Petition Government)
Second Amendment
Fourth Amendment
Fifth Amendment (Due Process, Equal Protection Component)
Tenth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment (Due Process, Equal Protection, Privileges & Immunities)

Other briefs have addressed important statutory issues (U.N. Participation Act, Gun Control Act, National Firearms Act, Firearms Owners Protection Act, Uniform Code of Military Justice, Federal Election Campaign Act, etc.).

Our first Supreme Court filing was October 16, 1981, supporting the legality of President Reagan's action against striking air traffic controllers. Of course, we have also filed many other briefs in various U.S. District Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals, State Supreme Courts, etc. All of these filings since the late 1990's and some earlier briefs are available on this website, and we are working to post the older filings as well.


William J. Olson, P.C., Attorneys At Law

Election Law



Brief Filed Opposing Ohio’s “Ministry of Truth” (March 3, 2014)

    Taking a page out of Orwell’s novel 1984, the Ohio Elections Commission operates as a modern “Ministry of Truth’ — with the power to “determine” and “proclaim” the truth or falsity of every statement made during an Ohio political campaign. Our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that the government has no legitimate role whatsoever to play in guiding Americans as to how to vote.

    Here is what happened. Two political committees sought to defeat Congressman Steve Driehaus during the 2012 election cycle by claiming he supported taxpayer-funded abortion when he voted in favor of Obamacare.

    Driehaus complained that the claim was false, and filed a complaint with the Ohio Election Commission. A committee of Commission members agreed, finding probable cause that the SBA List knew the charge was false. Because of this, the billboard company refused to erect their billboards containing the anti-Driehaus message. Before the full Commission could act, Driehaus lost the election, and withdrew his charge.

    The political committees, however, took the matter to federal court, contending that the action taken by the Commission “chilled” their political speech protected by the First Amendment. The district court dismissed the case, not on the merits, but on the ground that the First Amendment claim was not yet “ripe” for decision. The Sixth Circuit agreed, as both courts opined that since neither organization had been prosecuted, and neither organization could produce any evidence that they would be chilled in any future campaign, their First Amendment complaint had not yet matured into a an actual case or controversy.

    We urged the Supreme Court to find that the groups had, in fact, presented a First Amendment claim that is ready for judicial decision on the merits. We point out that the claim was not based upon whether the Ohio law, in fact, keeps protected speech out of the political marketplace of ideas, but whether, as a matter of law, Ohio has any jurisdiction whatsoever to enter the political marketplace of ideas to ferret out truth from alleged falsehood.

    In America — where the people, not the government, are sovereign — it is for the people, not bureaucrats, to decide who, in the heat of a political campaign, is telling the truth and who is allegedly telling lies. As Thomas Jefferson proclaimed in 1779, “the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction,” therefore leaving no room for a government Ministry of Truth.


FEC Issues Advisory Opinion Sought by Citizens for Joseph Miller (October 31, 2013)

    Representing Alaska Senate candidate Joseph Miller's campaign committee, Bill Olson appeared before the Federal Election Commission today to answer questions about the facts underlying Advisory Opinion Request No. 13-11 filed by the firm on the campaign's behalf. After a lengthy discussion, the FEC approved the Advisory Opinion on a 5-1 vote. The Commission ruled that the Committee's use of campaign funds with respect to an appeal of a judgment to the Alaska Supreme Court relating to his 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate was fully permissible, and not a personal use.



Shaun McCutcheon v. FEC, Amicus Brief for Downsize DC Foundation, et al. (United States Supreme Court, May 13, 2013)

    Incumbent Congressmen must not be allowed to make it extremely difficult to challenge them for re-election, as they have done since 1971 by use of campaign finance laws.

    Today we filed an amicus brief on behalf of Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Free Speech Coalition, Inc., Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., English First, English First Foundation, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Western Center for Journalism, Policy Analysis Center, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Libertarian National Committee, Inc. and Constitution Party National Committee in Support of Appellants.



Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., et al., Amicus Brief for Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., et al. (United States Supreme Court, January 2, 2013)

    Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner.

    Our amicus brief argues that Section 5 of The Voting Rights Act ("VRA") of 1965, as amended in 2006, exceeds the powers vested in Congress by either the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment. Further, Sections 4(b) and 5 of the VRA of 1965, as amended in 2006, put Alabama on an unequal footing, in violation of the statute admitting Alabama to the union, and the Tenth Amendment.

    Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., America’s Prayer Network, Christians Reviving America’s Values, U.S. Justice Foundation, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.



William P. Danielczyk, Jr., et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for Citizens United, et al. (United States Supreme Court, December 10, 2012)

    Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of William P. Danielczyk, Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari.

    Our brief argues that the petition should be granted because the court below failed to apply the categorical First Amendment right of corporate entities to engage in political speech established by the U.S. Constitution and reaffirmed in Citizens United v. FEC. Further, the questions presented should be extended to include whether campaign finance restrictions on speech and press should ever be permitted based on overriding governmental interests. Finally, our brief argues that the various standards of review which enable the government to override the speech and press guarantees of the First Amendment, are illegitimate encroachments upon the sovereign power of the people to constitute and, when necessary reconstitute their government. Our brief urges the Supreme Court that "it is time to cut completely the Gordian Knot by which constitutional rights have been sacrificed based on atextual judicial balancing tests."

    Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
    Citizens United (http://www.citizensunited.org/)
    Free Speech Coalition, Inc. (http://www.freespeechcoalition.org/)
    Free Speech Defense and Education Fund
    U.S. Justice Foundation (https://usjf.net/)
    Downsize DC Foundation (http://www.downsizedcfoundation.org/)
    DownsizeDC.org (http://www.downsizedc.org/)
    Gun Owners Foundation (http://www.gunowners.com/)
    Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org)

    Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (http://www.cldef.org/)



Center for Individual Freedom, et al. v. Chris Van Hollen, et al. Amicus Brief for Free Speech Coalition, Inc., et al. (United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, June 27, 2012)

    Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Center for Individual Freedom, et al. v. Chris Van Hollen, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of appellants and reversal.

    Our brief argues that the BCRA section 201 provision requiring disclosure of the names and addresses of all contributors who contributed an aggregate of $1,000 or more is subject to the rule of statutory construction to avoid serious constitutional problems. The Supreme Court did not address or resolve in Citizens United the constitutionality of whether the disclosure requirement applied to any donor who gave money generally to the publisher of an electioneering communication without direction as to how the funds should be used. Forced disclosures are subject to “exacting scrutiny” requiring proof of a strong governmental interest in the prevention of corruption or the appearance of corruption. The government interest in a better informed public, standing by itself, is not sufficient to override the well-established anonymity principle undergirding the freedoms of speech and the press. To avoid compromising that principle, BCRA’s disclosure provision should be construed to require proof that the “contributor who contributed” did so with the specific purpose of supporting an electioneering communication.

    Moreover, there is no constitutionally legitimate basis to require any reporting and disclosure for any communication merely because it mentions the name of a candidate for federal office. To label such communications as anything more than issue advocacy is to apply a misnomer. Additionally, to justify such disclosure requirements as furthering the interest of the government in a better informed public camouflages the real purpose — to protect incumbent office holders at the expense of their challengers. Forced disclosure is anathema to this nation’s founding commitment to a self-governing people’s marketplace of ideas free from licensure and censorship by the government.

    Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
    Free Speech Coalition, Inc. (www.freespeechcoalition.org)
    The Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
    U.S. Justice Foundation (http://usjf.net/)
    Institute on the Constitution (http://www.theamericanview.com/)
    American Civil Rights Union (http://www.theacru.org/)
    Citizens United (http://www.citizensunited.org/)
    Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.cldef.org)
    Downsize DC Foundation (http://www.downsizedcfoundation.org/)
    DownsizeDC.org (http://www.downsizedc.org/)
    Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org)
    Gun Owners Foundation (http://www.gunowners.com/)
    Let Freedom Ring USA (http://www.letfreedomringusa.com/)
    The National Right to Work Committee (http://www.nrtwc.org/)
    Public Advocate of the U.S. (http://www.publicadvocateusa.org/)
    U.S. Border Control (http://www.usbc.org/)
    The U.S. Constitutional Rights Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
    Base Connect, Inc. (http://www.base-connect.com/)



Challenge to Oklahoma GOP Convention in Norman (May 22, 2012)

    On May 22, 2012, we submitted a challenge to the Oklahoma Republican Party's election of delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention in violation of party rules.

    We are representing four individuals, each of whom represents the interests of large groups of other Oklahoma Republicans:
    Steve Dickson, as a duly-credentialed delegate to the Oklahoma State Republican Convention held in Norman on May 12, 2012;
    Lukus Collins, as a duly-credentialed delegate from Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District to the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa,August 27-30, 2012;
    Jerry Essary, Jr., as Chairman of the Beckham County Republican Party; and
    Jake Peters, as one of the at-large delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention elected in Norman.



Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett Amicus Brief (U.S. Supreme Court, January 20, 2011)

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our brief argues that the Arizona system of public financing of campaigns for election to public office, the Arizona Citizens Clean Election Act, is unconstitutional to its core. Contrary to the analysis of the lower court, the public financing system approved in Buckley v. Valeo does not govern this case as Buckley permits only voluntarily-funded public financing of elections, while a ten percent surcharge on civil penalties and criminal fines unconstitutionally funds the Arizona public financing system. Further, the Arizona act unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ privileges and immunities in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Our brief further argues that the Buckley rationale for public financing of election campaigns is fundamentally flawed and that the Arizona public financing scheme is antithetical to First Amendment principles.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org)
Gun Owners Foundation (www.gunowners.com)
Citizens United (www.citizensunited.org)
Citizens United Foundation (www.citizensunitedfoundation.com)
U.S. Justice Foundation (www.usjf.net)
Arizona State Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (www.aapsonline.org)
Institute on the Constitution (www.iotconline.com)
DownsizeDC.org, Inc. (www.downsizedc.org)
Campaign for Liberty (www.campaignforliberty.com)
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.cldef.org)
Policy Analysis Center
The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education (www.lincolnreview.com)
Constitution Party National Committee (www.constitutionparty.com)
Public Advocate of the United States (www.publicadvocateusa.org)



Committee to Recall Robert Menendez v. Mitchell, Amicus Brief on Behalf of 12 Organization (New Jersey Supreme Court, May 10, 2010)

On May 10, 2010, on behalf of 12 organizations, the firm filed an Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court of New Jersey supporting the efforts of the plaintiff, the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez From the Office of U.S. Senator.

On November 2, 1993, by an overwhelming majority, the people of New Jersey enacted an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution which allows the people to recall their representatives to the U.S. Congress, and directing the state legislature to promulgate laws to provide for recall elections, which the legislature did in May, 1995.

In September, 2009, the New Jersey Secretary of State refused to comply with these provisions, and declined to certify the plaintiff’s effort to recall Senator Menendez. In January of 2010, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division ordered that the recall effort must go forward. Senator Menendez joined the suit as an indispensable party. On April 27, 2010, he successfully sought expedited review of the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court, where the case is now pending.

Our brief argues that the power to recall U.S. Senators is reserved to the people by the Tenth and Seventeenth Amendments. When the Constitution was ratified, the state legislatures had the power to choose representatives. This changed when the Seventeenth Amendment was adopted in 1913 to require the direct election of Senators by the people of the various states. Senator Menendez believes that the Amendment granted Congressmen an immunity from removal by the people they represent, even if they fail to faithfully represent the interests of their constituents.

Neither the Seventeenth Amendment nor any other section of the Constitution prohibits the people of New Jersey from recalling their representatives. Lastly, the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton does not foreclose this power. There, the Court held that the state legislatures may not add qualifications for members of Congress to supplement those in the Constitution. But the power to recall is not a qualification on whom the people may elect, but protects the people’s right to choose, giving the people another bite at the apple to elect someone who will better serve them.

The brief was filed on behalf of: Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund; Institute on the Constitution; U.S. Justice Foundation; Gun Owners Foundation; Gun Owners of America, Inc.; Vision to America; The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education; Public Advocate; U.S. Border Control; U.S. Border Control Foundation; American Coalition for Competitive Trade; and The Constitution Party national Committee.

On May 12, 2010, a brief on behalf of Senator Robert Menendez was filed in opposition to our motion. On May 19, 2010, a New Jersey Supreme Court Order granted the motion and accepted the amicus brief on behalf of Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, et al. Oral argument was held on May 25, 2010.



Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Amicus Brief (U.S. Supreme Court, July 31, 2009)


Testimony of Jeremiah Morgan, on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc. and the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., before the Federal Election Commission at its Hearings on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Definition of “Electioneering Communications.” (October 18, 2007)


Comments to the Federal Election Commission Regarding the Proposed Regulations on Electioneering Communications (72 Fr 50261) on Behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc. and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (October 3, 2007)


Wisconsin Right to Life Amicus Brief (U.S. Supreme Court, March 23, 2007)

Comments to the Federal Election Commission Regarding the Consideration of Regulations with Respect to the Definition of "Electioneering Communication" on Behalf of the Free Speech Coalition (September 30, 2005)


Comments to the Federal Election Commission Regarding Proposed Internet Regulations on Behalf of the Free Speech Coalition (June 3, 2005)


Comments to the Federal Election Commission Regarding the Proposed Redefinition of “Political Committee” on Behalf of the Free Speech Coalition (April 9, 2004)


Reply Brief for Appellants Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC et al. (U.S. Supreme Court, August 21, 2003)


Brief for Appellants Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC et al. (U.S. Supreme Court, July 8, 2003)


Federal Election Commission Public Hearing on Enforcement Procedures Transcript -- Bill Olson spoke and filed a statement (June 11, 2003)

Jurisdictional Statement Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC et al. (U.S. Supreme Court, May 30, 2003)


Federal Election Commission v. Christine Beaumont, et al. (U.S. Supreme Court, February 10, 2003)


Reply Brief Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, November 27, 2002)


Proposed Findings of Fact Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, November 26, 2002)


Opposition Brief Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) November 20, 2002)


Initial Brief Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, November 6, 2002)


Fact Witness Testimony Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, October 4, 2002)



Expert Witness Reports Filed in the Case of Paul, et al. v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, September 23, 2002)



Comments to the Federal Election Commission in Response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Electioneering Communications (August 29, 2002)


Amended Complaint Filed in the Case of Paul, et al.v. FEC, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, May 7, 2002)


Lawsuit Filed To Challenge Legitimacy of FEC (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, April 23, 2002)

Our firm filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on behalf of Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, Real Campaign Reform.org, Inc., Citizens United, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Carla Howell, Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, and Michael Cloud, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts.

This lawsuit charges that both the new Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) and the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) violate the First Amendment protection of Freedom of the Press today. Other lawsuits filed after President Bush signed the BCRA in March challenged the new law on grounds that it violates the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. But today's suit is the first to argue that BCRA violates Freedom of the Press, which the complaint says "belongs to the American people," and not just to the institutional corporate press, such as The Washington Post or CNN.

A Gun Owners of America press release is available, New and Existing Campaign Finance Laws Violate Freedom Of The Press -- Lawsuit Filed Today Is Fundamental Challenge To Election Laws. More information about the lawsuit is available at realcampaignreform.org



Campaign Finance Reform: A Constitutional Analysis (February 13, 2002)

A paper by Herb Titus regarding the unconstitutionality of campaign finance reform legislation was inserted into the Congressional Record by Congressman Ron Paul, who described Herb Titus as "one of America's leading constitutional scholars."



Will Illegal Aliens Decide Who Will Be America's Next President (November 9, 2000)

    This U.S. Border Controll Press Release discusses the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as the Motor Voter law, and the upcoming election.



Campaign Finance Limitations Case, (U.S. Supreme Court, June 7, 1999)

Our amicus curiae brief, challenges the entire scheme of campaign finance regulation as an impermissible restraint on free speech, designed to protect incumbents from challenges and to preserve the media's powerful voice as the only entities able to spend an unlimited amount of money on elections. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed.



Testimony Before Federal Election Commission on Proposed Membership Regulations (March 17, 1999)

This testimony, presented before the six-member Federal Election Commission, opposes efforts designed to restrict the definition of membership so that PACs associated with nonprofit advocacy groups would be curtailed in their campaign involvement. The positions advanced were largely successful. The FEC's final regulations were issued July 30, 1999.

Comments to the Federal Election Commission on Membership on Behalf of the Free Speech Coalition (February 1, 1999)

Testimony of William J. Olson Before House Subcommittee (March 8, 1994)

    Hearings on the FY 1995 Budget Authorization of the Federal Election Commission Before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on House Administration, Subcommittee on Elections


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