Citizens United v. Department of State (Case No. 1:18-cv-01252)

admin FOIA Law, U. S. District Court, District of Columbia

Today, on behalf of Citizens United, we filed a Complaint under the Freedom of Information Act against the State Department, seeking certain records relating to contracts between the U.S. Department of State and various individuals including Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS.  The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Texas v. United States

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

Today, we filed the only amicus brief supporting a 20-state challenge to Obamacare being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.  The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas  In December 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which eliminated the Obamacare penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate.  The Texas lawsuit asks that Obamacare be declared unconstitutional in its entirety, since a zero tax cannot form the basis of the exercise of the taxing power.

Link to brief

United States v. Ackerman

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Today we filed our second amicus brief in the Ackerman case. Our first brief was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, and today’s brief was filed in the Tenth Circuit. This case involves the power of the government to conduct searches and seizures of email and attachments to email. The District Court decision upholding the search was entirely based on the “reasonable expectation of privacy” atextual judicial construct. When this case was before the Tenth Circuit previously, that Court raised the property basis of the Fourth Amendment set out in United States v. Jones in 2012, but this issue was not addressed by the District Court.
In the third section of our brief, we explain the history of the property foundation of the Fourth Amendment from before its ratification, through its abandonment, and now through its return to primacy in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. (Now-Justice Gorsuch authored the earlier Tenth Circuit opinion focusing on the property principle.)

Link to brief

IFS v. Becerra

admin Constitutional Law, Nonprofit Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Today, we filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting a challenge against the California Attorney General’s demands for the large donor lists (IRS Form 990 Schedule B) of charitable organizations who wish to register to solicit donations in that state. We argued that the AG’s requirement creates a condition precedent that violates the right to peacably assemble. We also explained that the new rule does not only risk public dissemination of donor information, as has already happened in California, but also the risk that politicized Attorney Generals in New York and California — Kamala Harris, Xavier Becerra, and Eric Schneiderman — would misuse the information. We also raised the distinct possibility that the AG is committing the federal crime of solicitation of taxpayer information because it is conditioning the ability to raise funds in California on the “voluntary” provision of the confidential donor lists. Finally, we argued that 9th Circuit precedent in similar cases improperly relied on election law cases, requiring that IFS’ case be heard en banc.

Link to brief

EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. — Sixth Circuit Discusses Our Amicus Brief

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit’s decision, issued today, addressed an issue that our amicus brief had raised, which had not been raised by the parties. That issue was whether the Harris Funeral Home qualified under the “ministerial exception” to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, ruling that the Funeral Home did not qualify. Unfortunately, the Harris Funeral Read More

Ulbricht v. United States

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court addressing important Fourth And Sixth Amendment issues.  The investigation into Ross WilliamUlbricht, the founder of the “Silk Road” website, involved numerous Fourth Amendment violations in the search and seizure of his Internet Communications records.   Additionally, Ulbricht had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and there is now no parole in the federal system, based on a judge’s findings of fact based on the preponderance of the evidence, in violation of his right to a jury trial.

Link to brief

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security v. Regents of U. California (DACA)

admin Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed another brief relating to President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA policy — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This brief supported the Trump Administration’s to obtain U.S. Supreme Court before judgment review of a nationwide injunction issued by District Judge William H. Alsup.

Link to brief

United States v. Kettler — Oral Argument

admin Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held oral argument on the Kettler case.  Our co-counsel in the case, Joe Miller, presented oral argument for Mr. Cox.  The panel hearing the appeal consisted of Judges Hartz, Seymour and Phillips.

The oral argument my be listened to here.

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the United Sates Supreme Court on the merits to help protect the Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) of California from a California law which mandates that the CPCs provide information about the availability of abortions.  We had earlier filed an amicus brief in support of NIFLA’s petition for certiorari.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Conservative Legal Defense Read More

Hawaii v. Trump

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Today, we filed our seventh amicus brief in support of President Trump’s immigration actions, this time, in support of his September 24, 2017 Proclamation.  Our brief challenged the purported standing of the plaintiffs below, where the district court based standing on the Establishment Clause, but then granted the injunction based on statutory grounds.  Our brief argued that the question Read More

United States v. Kettler — Reply Brief

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Today, we filed a reply brief responding to the Government’s brief in opposition on behalf of Jeremy Kettler.  Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).  Read our previous discussion of the case and opening brief here.

Read Reply Brief here.

 

Collins v. Virginia — Merits Brief

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving a warrantless search of a motorcycle under a tarp located in the “curtilage” of a home, or the area immediately surrounding it.  Under the deeply flawed rule the Virginia Supreme Court applied, the Fourth Amendment has no bearing at all whenever an automobile or anything that resembles an automobile is being searched, Read More

Kenosha School District v. Whitaker

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

In our brief, we challenged the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had concluded that there was no privacy interests of other students implicated by members of the opposite sex using their restrooms.  This, we argued, rejected out of hand the long standing and universal practice of restroom separation by sex, based on nothing more than the judges’ own policy preferences.  Read More

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado against an order of a Colorado Administrative agency which would compel a Christian baker to facilitate and participate in the celebration of a same-sex wedding.

Link to brief

Price v. Chicago

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Today we filed an amicus brief in the Seventh Circuit in a case challenging the City of Chicago’s buffer zone ordinance, which was designed to prevent pro-life sidewalk counselors from speaking to pregnant women at the last opportunity before they enter an abortion clinic. Our brief argued that the case should be decided as any other First Amendment case — and the First Amendment rules should not be bent because this case involves an abortion clinic. We discuss how the courts have allowed a separate abortion rights jurisprudence to have precedence over legal principles of general applicability. We also explain that the Chicago ordinance violates the often ignored First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

Link to brief

Trump v. IRAP; Trump v. Hawaii

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed our sixth brief in support of the Trump Immigration Executive Orders.  Three of those prior briefs were in the Ninth Circuit; one in the In the Fourth Circuit; and one in the U.S. Supreme Court.  In this brief, we set out four major arguments, on the critical issues which will be decided by the High Court..

First, we explain that as written and as applied the Establishment Clause Read More

Carpenter v. United States

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court on the merits, arguing that the government may not seize and search your cell phone’s cell site location information without a warrant.  This brief follows two briefs that we filed on this same issue in United States v Graham, and one in United States v. Zodhiates.

Link to brief