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

New York v. Trump (DACA)

admin Constitutional Law

Just before midnight tonight, we filed our fourth brief defending President Trump’s rescission of President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program. This brief was filed in the Second Circuit, which is considering an appeal from a “nationwide” or “universal” injunction issued by one Democrat lawyer currently serving as an unelected federal district judge in Brooklyn, who had been appointed in 2000 by President Clinton — Nicholas G. Garaufis.

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 Home — which was owned and administered by a Christian Family — had previously decided that it would not seek that protection — asserting that it was “not a religious organization.” The Sixth Circuit cited cases which have narrowed the ministerial exception to only overtly religious organizations such as churches. It is our view that many Christian business owners run their businesses very much like ministries. However, this is a concept that is foreign to many of the lawyers who work in this area, and the judges who rule on these cases who want the statutory exception to be interpreted as narrowly as possible. Read More

Our Firm’s Amicus Briefs for GOA Ranked Among Highest in Policy Shifting Cases

admin Press Coverage

Empirical SCOTUS ranked the amicus briefs we filed for Gun Owners of America (“GOA”) tied for 13th in the country in “Policy Shifting Cases” during the period 2000-16.  This analysis focused on cases where the High Court struck down statutes as unconstitutional or overturned its own precedents.  In this listing, GOA was rated above long-time powerhouse interest groups like the AFL-CIO and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  The analysis is entitled “Amicus Policy Success in Impactful Supreme Court Decisions. 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

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 and Education Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, One Nation Under God Foundation, Pass the Salt Ministries, Eberle Associates, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, and The Transforming Word Ministries. 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 in this case was a political one, exceeding the scope of judicial powers, and also raised the point that the President has inherent constitutional authority over immigration.  Next, our brief demonstrated that the district court relied extensively on the Ninth Circuit’s previous opinion in Hawaii v. Trump, but that decision has since been vacated, stripping it of precedential value.  Finally, we noted that the district court failed to address the public safety basis of President Trump’s Proclamation. 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, irrespective of where the automobile is located. Read More

Third Set of Comments filed with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives opposing Multiple Rifle Sale Reporting

Jeremiah Morgan Administrative Law, Firearms Law

Today, our firm filed comments on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation, expressing opposition to the ATF’s continuing effort to require federally licensed firearms dealers (FFL’s) to report to ATF information regarding the sale of multiple rifles.

Purportedly concerned about firearms being trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, about six years ago ATF created a new requirement that all FFLs located in the four southwest border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) must report to the ATF any sale to a single person of two or more rifles within a five day period. Read More