William J. Olson, P.C., Attorneys at Law
About Us Office Location Contact Us
Constitutional Law
Nonprofit Law
Postal Law
Health Law
Firearms Law
Election Law
Litigation
Biblical Wisdom
Press Coverage
Publications
HIstorical Documents
Martial Law
Executive Orders
Favorite Links

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.


previous | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | Pre-1999 | next
The Senior Citizens League
Petition on U.S./Mexico
Totalization Agreement
Submitted to President-Elect
Obama’s Transition Team
December 17, 2008

On behalf of The Senior Citizens League, we submitted a “Petition In Support of Social Security Protection, and in Opposition to Bush Administration’s United States Mexico Totalization Agreement” to the Obama-Biden Transition Team.

Akins v. United States, 11th Circuit
Another Brief Contesting
ATF’s Definition of a “Machinegun”
November 26, 2008

On November 26, 2008, the firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in support of Bill Akins.  Akins is the inventor of the Akins Accelerator — a patented replacement stock of a semiautomatic firearm that through controlled “bump firing” increases the rate of fire, after an initial trigger pull, by multiple functions of the trigger controlled by the shooter’s well-placed trigger finger.

In a 2006 ruling, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) concluded that Mr. Akins’ accelerator was a machinegun, because it fired repeatedly upon only one “pull” of the trigger and, thus, converted a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic one.  Prior to the 2006 ruling, however, ATF twice had notified Mr. Akins that, after testing the accelerator, ATF determined that it was not a machinegun; rather the accelerator simply enabled a semiautomatic rifle to shoot at an increased rate of fire, not with a single pull of the trigger, but by a series of multiple functions of the trigger pressing against the shooter’s well-placed trigger finger.  Thus, the accelerator did not fit within the statutory definition of a machinegun because the firearm did not shoot automatically at the “single function of the trigger.” 

In order to reach the opposite conclusion in 2006, ATF changed its interpretation of the statutory definition of a machinegun, construing “single function of the trigger” to mean the same thing as “single pull of the trigger.”  Since the ATF accelerator required only one “pull” of the trigger, in order for a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot, the ATF dismissed as irrelevant the fact that the firearm would not continue to shoot repeatedly unless the trigger continued to function by pushing against the shooter’s well-placed trigger finger.

The GOF/GOA amicus brief emphasized that the 2006 ruling was made in flagrant disregard of the plain language of the statutory definition of a machinegun — and challenged ATF’s claim that it acted within its authority to protect the “public safety” from “dangerous weapons,” noting that Congress had enacted no statutory provision prohibiting “dangerous weapons,” and that, in the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986, Congress had amended ATF’s powers to enact rules and regulations “only ... as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter ....”

Herb Titus Quoted in Article about Electoral College November 25, 2008

Today, in the lead story in World Net Daily, Herb Titus discussed the constitutional obligation of the Electoral College to determine whether a candidate is constitutionally-eligible to be President, there being concerns raised as to whether Barak Obama is a "natural born Citizen." 

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states:  "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." 

U.S. v. David R. Olofson Reply Brief
in Support of Appellant Olofson
in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit (Docket No. 08-2294)
November 7, 2008

We filed our reply brief, responding to the government’s opposition which maintained that a malfunctioning AR-15 rifle is a machinegun.

Herb Titus Delivers Keynote Address at Restoring Our Heritage Fall Banquet October 14, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Herb Titus delivered the keynote address at the Fall Banquet of Restoring Our Heritage in Evansville, Indiana. In this address, he not only spoke of the unconstitutionality of earmarks, but of bailouts and electronic eavesdropping as violations of the God-given private property rights.

Gun Owners Foundation Amicus Brief
Filed in United States v. Hayes
U.S. Supreme Court
September 26, 2008

On September 26, 2008, we filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation an amicus brief in United States v. Hayes.  The GOF brief urged the Supreme Court to affirm a Fourth Circuit court of appeals ruling that, as a matter of statutory interpretation, an individual does not lose the right to own a gun unless the prosecutor in the misdemeanor case  proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the misdemeanor event was, in fact, a domestic one.

Prior to the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Hayes, all the other courts of appeals (which had addressed the question) had decided the case the other way:  that the domestic aspect of the misdemeanor need not be proved in court, but need only appear somewhere, such as on a police report.  Thus, for a dozen years, hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been deprived of their right to purchase or possess a firearm, not on the basis of a proven fact, but on the basis of an uncontested accusation.

The statute being contested was enacted in 1996 as part of a omnibus appropriations bill – the now infamous Lautenberg Amendment, named after its sponsor, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).   This stealth provision prohibited, for the first time in the history of federal firearms regulation, a person from possessing a firearm if he had been convicted of a  misdemeanor, specifically a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

One of the defining differences between felonies and misdemeanors is that felons lose civil liberties (e.g., voting, serving on a jury, holding public office, gun ownership), while those who commit misdemeanors do not.  The Lautenberg amendment is a notable exception to this rule.

The GOF brief charges that, by its disregard for the language of the statute and its unjustified reliance upon Senator Lautenberg’s personal opinions, the Government unlawfully jeopardizes firearm ownership, by encouraging inaccurate and incomplete reporting of information on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and by creating an impermissible risk of self-incrimination on ATF Form 4473, completion of which is required of all purchasers of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

U.S. v. David R. Olofson
Brief in Support of Appellant Olofson
in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit (Docket No. 08-2294)
August 25, 2008

We filed a brief on behalf of David R. Olfoson, who was convicted and is serving a sentence for “transferring a machinegun,” which actually was a legal but malfunctioning AR-15 rifle.

U.S. v. Ramos/Compean Amicus Brief
in Support of Petition for Rehearing
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
August 18, 2008

We filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of two former Border Patrol agents’ Petitions for Rehearing. This brief emphasized areas where the Fifth Circuit panel’s decision was inconsistent with the law as set forth in our earlier brief filed with the court on May 25, 2007.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Congressmen Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Virgil H. Goode, Jr. (R-VA), and Ted Poe (R-TX), Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Border Control Foundation, U.S. Border Control, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Wyeth v. Levine Amicus Brief
Filed in the U.S. Supreme Court
on Behalf of The Senior Citizens League
August 14, 2008

On behalf of The Senior Citizens League (“TSCL”), we filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine (Supreme Court Docket No. 06-1249) on behalf of the respondent, Diana Levine. The issue in this case is whether approval of a drug and its labeling by the Food and Drug Administration preempts state tort liability when the label as approved does not adequately warn of the dangers of certain forms of administration of a drug.

TSCL’s brief brought to the Court’s attention the unique arguments that federal preemption of this area would deprive Ms. Levine of a right to a remedy by “due course of law” as secured by the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 4 of the Vermont Constitution. Furthermore, the brief argued that state tort law systems provide necessary protection to consumers, as well as assisting the FDA in accomplishing its mission, and that the FDA’s scientific expertise is insufficient to protect the public health.

Free Speech Coalition Reply Comments
on Cooperative Mail Rule
July 24, 2008

On behalf of Free Speech Coalition, we filed Reply Comments in Postal Regulatory Commission Docket No. PI2008 4 opposing broadening the cooperative mail rule to impose significant burdens on new and smaller nonprofit organizations.

Free Speech Coalition Initial Comments
on Cooperative Mail Rule
June 24, 2008

On behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, we filed Initial Comments in Postal Regulatory Commission Docket No. PI2008 4 requesting that the Commission make no change to the cooperative mail rule (CMR) in the Postal Service’s regulations that was revised by the Postal Service in 2003. The Commission is reviewing the CMR pursuant to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Pub. L. 109 435, Section 711. FSC supports the Postal Service’s 2003 change to the CMR that created a fundraising exception which enables nonprofits to use nonprofit Standard Mail postage rates without unnecessary burdens imposed by the Postal Service.

Herb Titus Delivers Texas Constitution Party Convention Keynote Address June 14, 2008

On Flag Day, June 14, 2008, Herb Titus delivered the keynote address on the same topic at the state convention of the Texas Constitution Party meeting at Washington on the Brazsos.

“Evaluating Negotiated Services Agreements for Market Dominant Products Under PAEA” May 15, 2008

Bill Olson co-authored “Evaluating Negotiated Services Agreements for Market Dominant Products Under PAEA,” a paper presented by co-author John Haldi, Ph.D. at the 27th Annual Eastern Conference, Advanced Workshop in Regulation and Competition, Skytop, Pennsylvania (May 15, 2008).

Gun Owners of America/Gun Owners Foundation
Comments to the U.S. Postal Service
Regarding "Proposed New Standards Prohibit
the Mailing of Replica or Inert Munitions"
April 4, 2008

Today, on behalf of Gun Owners of American and Gun Owners Foundation, we filed comments opposing the United States Postal Service's "Proposed New Standards Prohibit the Mailing of Replica or Inert Munitions."  (See 73 Fed. Reg. 12321.)  The new rule proposes to declare nonmailable "[r]eplica or inert munitions."

The comments demonstrate that the proposed standard is unauthorized by law, and violative of the Postal Service's Universal Service Obligation.  Additionally, the comments show how the proposed new rule is vague and, as a consequence, could include all sorts of unintended items. 

Finally, the comments note how the proposed new rule appears to be driven by an attempt to standardize postal regulations among North American countries.

The Constitutional Case Against
Congressional ‘Earmarks’
April 4, 2008

The unconstitutional practice of congressional earmarks as a violation of the separation of powers and the prohibition against titles of nobility was the topic of an article by Herb Titus, published in the April 2008 issue of the Perspective, a monthly public policy journal of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, headquartered in Oklahoma City.

USA Today Op-Ed Defending
Second Amendment
March 19, 2008

Today, the day after oral argument in the Heller case in which we filed an amicus brief, Herb Titus and Bill Olson were asked to write an op-ed piece for USA Today. 

The USA Today editors wrote an editorial entitled "Our View:  Preserve limits on guns" and our counterpoint is entitled "Opposing view:  An unambiguous right." 

District of Columbia, et. al., v.
Dick Anthony Heller
Amicus Brief for Gun Owners of
America, Inc., et. al.
February 11, 2008

Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court supporting the respondent in the D.C. gun ban case, District of Columbia, et. al., v. Dick Anthony Heller, No. 07-290. The brief was filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., Virginia Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of California, Inc., Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.

The issue in the case is whether three D.C. Code provisions violate a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for private use in one’s home. We argued that, under long-standing rules limiting its jurisdiction, the Court should not entertain the Solicitor General’s invitation to assess the constitutionality of the whole array of the current federal firearms statutes. Nor, in response to petitioners and the Solicitor General, should the Court craft a standard of review not supported by the text to permit “reasonable” gun control. Rather, the Court should apply a standard of review dictated by the words and principles embodied in the Second Amendment, as directed by America’s founders.

According to its text, context, and historic setting, the Second Amendment protects an individual right to private possession and use of handguns in one’s own home. The individual right to keep and bear arms is essential to a “well regulated militia” — a self-bodying, self-governing association of people privately trained to arms, modeled after the colonial militia that took up their privately-owned firearms to defeat a tyrannical effort to confiscate their arms. In turn, a “well regulated militia” ensures the preservation of a “free state” by allowing all members of the American polity to exercise, if necessary, the sovereign right of the “people” to reconstitute their government.

In order to ensure its purpose to preserve the people’s liberties, the Second Amendment bans discriminatory legislation against classes of persons that, by nature, are rightful members of “the people.” In order to ensure its means to defeat tyranny, the Second Amendment bans discriminatory legislation against firearms that are essential to preserve those liberties. By discriminating against law-abiding D.C. citizens and against handguns, the D.C. Code provisions violate both of these standards and, therefore, unconstitutionally infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

TSCL Comments on FDA
Report “FDA Science and Mission
at Risk:  Report of the Subcommittee
on Science and Technology”
February 4, 2008

On behalf of TREA Senior Citizens League (“TSCL”), we filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in opposition to the FDA’s Science Board Report Entitled “FDA Science and Mission at Risk: Report of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology.”

The Report asserts that the FDA is in danger of not being able to perform its mission without a vast and unprecedented doubling of funding. The Report admits that Subcommittee was “not [asked] to assess available resources,” yet it nevertheless focused on the inadequacy of current funding. The Report claims that American lives already are at risk because of work that the FDA has been unable to do, and that nothing would change without additional funding.

The Report relies on “outside” sources with close ties to current and former board members, and in that way gives up much credibility. And because the Subcommittee chose this all-or-nothing approach, its Report is flawed having: (a) failed to set meaningful priorities, (b) drawn suspect conclusions, and (c) overstated the FDA’s need for additional resources.

The Report also fails to understand three factors which militate against the enhanced scientific and technological capacity that would result if the Report’s recommended increases in funding would be adopted.

First, the Report ignores the intractable fact that the FDA’s need for a “mission driven” science means that the agency will always lag behind the “cutting edge science.”

Second, the Report ignores that the administrative regulatory model is ill-suited to deal with the coming “paradigm shift ... that medicine will move progressively from the assessment of drug efficacy and safety based on large average effects detected in clinical trials” into a new “era of the personalization of medicine.”

Third, the Report fails to come to grips with the dangers posed to the privacy of individual medical records by an increasing centralization of government power in a single federal agency.

Moreover, if the Report’s findings and recommendations are flawed, as FDA Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach in Congressional testimony has suggested they are, then steps other than throwing money at the problem as proposed by the Report should be explored in order to protect the individual health needs of the American people.

previous | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | Pre-1999 | next
Constitutional Law | Nonprofit Law | Postal Law | Health Law | Firearms Law | Election Law | Litigation
Biblical Wisdom | Press Coverage | Publications | Historical Documents | Martial Law
Executive Orders | About Us | Office Location | Contact Us | Favorite Links

Copyright © 2014 William J. Olson, P.C. All rights reserved.

This William J. Olson, P.C. Web site, including all information and material appearing herein, is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to -- and does not -- constitute legal advice, advertising, or solicitation. No one should rely or act on any information contained on this Web site, including other sites that may be referenced herein, without seeking professional advice or counsel. No advice or counsel is provided in or by this Web site. Furthermore, no attorney-client relationship is created, or established, between William J. Olson, P.C. or any of its attorneys and anyone by virtue of anyone accessing or using this Web site, transmitting information to the Web site or receiving information from the Web site. William J. Olson, P.C. does not recommend use of the Internet, including e-mail, for the transmission of confidential, proprietary, and/or otherwise sensitive information.