Hughes v. Northam

admin Circuit Court of Russell County Virginia, Constitutional Law

On April 8, 2020, we learned that an individual had challenged Virginia Governor Northam’s Executive Order banning meetings — including Church Services — so that he could go to church on Easter without fear of being charged.  The case was filed in Virginia Circuit Court in Russell County, in far Southwest Virginia.  Since the petition included a claim under the First Amendment, Read More

Coral Ridge Ministries Media v. Amazon & Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in support of a complaint filed by Coral Ridge Ministries Media, which has been unfairly classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We explain in our brief that the SPLC defames organizations like Coral Ridge Ministries by adding them to a “hate map,” which is used Read More

National Association for Gun Rights v. Mangan

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

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a petition for certiorari designed to challenge a 2015 Montana State election law.  The law regulated “electioneering communications” — borrowing a term which Congress had employed in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 to require reporting of a narrow category of broadcast advertisements Read More

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra & Thomas More v. Becerra

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

Today we filed our fourth amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 22 organizations and fundraisers opposing a California requirement that nonprofits surrender the names of their large donors before soliciting contributions in that state. Now, we are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the Ninth Circuit.This is the sixth brief we filed defending the right of nonprofits to withhold IRS Form 990 Schedules B, protecting the anonymity of their donors. In our brief, we address four issues —why such disclosure demands are unconstitutional for four reasons:  freedom of association under NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Alabama; blanket restrictions of  charitable solicitation under Madigan v. Telemarketing Associates; breach of anonymity under Watchtower v. Village of Stratton and Talley v. California; and lastly, because in addition to retaliation by the public, government officials could retaliate against those donors funding nonprofits working to oppose government policies.

Link to brief

Veronica Price v. City of Chicago

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed its second amicus brief challenging the City of Chicago’s “bubble zone” ordinance, designed to prevent pro-life sidewalk counselors from speaking to pregnant women at the last opportunity before they enter an abortion clinic. As we did in our first brief in the Seventh Circuit, we argue here that this case should be handled not as an abortion rights case, but Read More

CREW v. FEC

admin Constitutional Law, Election Law, Nonprofit Law, Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Today our firm filed an amicus brief opposing a strained reading of the Federal Election Campaign Act disclosure requirement which CREW has urged a federal court to be forced on the FEC.  FEC rules have long required the disclosure by non-political committees of donors giving to support specific Independent Expenditures (IEs).  Reversing that established rule, the U.S. District Court for the District Read More

The American Legion v. American Humanist Association (Bladensburg Cross Merits)

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed our second brief in support of the Bladensburg Cross in Maryland. We earlier filed a brief at the petition stage on July 27, 2018. Our brief attacks existing Supreme Court Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and calls upon the Court not to end the judicial assault on Christianity.

Link to brief

Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief supporting the owners of a small bakery in Oregon (Sweetcakes by Melissa) who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding because of their religious convictions.  For this, they were fined $135,000 and ordered to cease and desist following their religious convictions.  This case is similar to Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case in which we filed two Read More

First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa v. Doe

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari to correct a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court which gave state courts jurisdiction over a matter of church policy — public baptism.

Link to brief

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra

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

Today we filed another amicus brief in support of Americans for Prosperity’s challenge to the California Attorney General’s demand for its confidential donor information as a condition of raising money in the state. This brief urged the Ninth Circuit to grant rehearing en banc to reverse an earlier panel decision. The brief was filed for Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Free Read More

American Legion v. American Humanist Association (Bladensburg Cross)

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to block a Fourth Circuit decision which found that the Bladensburg (Maryland) War Memorial, which includes a 40-foot cross, violates the Establishment Clause.  The Fourth Circuit opinion discusses the relief being sought by a few Maryland residents to be either razing the Cross, or defacing it by cutting off its arms, and making it Read More

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

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

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

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed in the U.S. Supreme Court an amicus brief supporting President Trump’s challenge to the Fourth Circuit decision which approved a Maryland judge’s injunction against his Executive Order.  Our brief supports both President Trump’s application to stay this injunction, and supports his petition for certiorari.  The brief addressed three broad points.

First, we explain Read More

Hawaii v. Trump

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Today, our firm filed its fourth brief in support of President Trump’s effort to impose immigration controls.  This brief supported President Trump’s second Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017 — to secure our borders against entry by those coming from select countries where their background cannot be checked.

Our first two briefs were filed in the Washington State challenge, in the Read More

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of a petition to protect the Crisis Pregnancy Centers in California.  The California Reproductive FACT Act requires these pro-life centers to disseminate to those who seek its services, information explaining the easy availability of taxpayer subsidized abortion.  Our brief explains that this state law violates the Declaration Read More

Patriotic Veterans v. Curtis Hill, Attorney General of Indiana

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Nonprofit Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we co-counseled the filing of a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Patriotic Veterans, a nonprofit organization based in Illinois.  This Petition brings to the High Court a First Amendment challenge to an Indiana law barring most nonprofit organizations from using automated dialing equipment to conduct issue advocacy and grassroots lobbying.  Read More

Welch v. Brown

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of a petition for writ of certiorari, asking the Court to review a California ban on mental health providers pro-hetrosexual therapies to minors.  Interestingly, the California law, SB 1172, does not ban pro-homosexual therapies.  We reject the notion that the Free Exercise Clause was written to give special rights to religious people.  Read More

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Xavier Becerra

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

Today we filed a brief for the Free Speech Coalition and a large number of nonprofit orgainzations opposing efforts by the Attorney General of California to compel the disclosure by nonprofit organizations soliciting funds in that state of the names of their largest donors.

The issue in the case involves conditioning the ability to fundraise in California on disclosing confidential information to Read More

Citizens United v. Schneiderman

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Nonprofit Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opposing efforts by the Attorney General of New York from implementing new procedures requiring every nonprofit organization which solicits funds in that state to provide him with the names, addresses, and donation amounts of the organization’s largest donors.  Although the Attorney General of New York insists Read More