Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for certiorari challenging Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for those who apply for a concealed carry permit.

Since Heller, which involved the “keeping” of a handgun within the home, most lower federal courts have been unwilling to give Second Amendment rights significant application outside the home. Unfortunately, most judges serving on the lower federal courts have exhibited a continuing visceral hostility to firearms, the Second Amendment, and the Heller decision. Read More

Rosemond v. United States Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Justus Cornelius Rosemond v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. Our amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to examine the question raised in this case in light of the recently decided case of Alleynev. United States’ new interpretation of Section 924(c)(1)(A), defining three firearms offenses instead of only one. If the Government’s theory of aiding and abetting is affirmed in this case, it will unwisely and unnecessarily expand prosecutorial discretion in the administration of the mandatory minimum sentence structure of Section 924(c)(1)(A) and undermine the role of the jury envisioned in Alleyne. Read More

Abramski v. United States Amicus Brief for Congressman Steve Stockman, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Bruce James Abramski, Jr. v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. Our amicus brief argues that the petition should be granted because it raises compelling concerns about the administration of the national instant background check system that have not been, but should be, settled by the Supreme Court. The ATF “straw purchase” doctrine upon which Abramski’s conviction rests conflicts with both statute and regulation. The ATF Form 4473’s question 11.a. and instructions are misleading and confusing, creating a trap for the unwary. The Form 4473 distinction between a third party gift and a third party purchase is arbitrary and capricious. Finally, Congress has not enacted any law authorizing the prevention of straw purchases of firearms from licensed firearm dealers and has thus far declined to enact the ATF “straw purchase” doctrine into law. Read More

Kerri L. Kaley v. United States Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Kerri L. Kaley v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners. Our amicus brief argues that the court of appeal’s preclusion of a meaningful right to challenge asset seizures imbalances the federal criminal justice system, impairs a defendant’s right to counsel of choice, and violates due process of law. Further, a grand jury indictment is not an acceptable substitute for a postindictment, pretrial hearing, prior to seizure of a defendants’ assets Read More

Bond v. United States (Bond II) Amicus Brief for U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court attacking the notion that once a treaty has been ratified by the U.S. Senate it vests in Congress new powers not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution to implement that treaty. Specifically, we ask the Supreme Court to overrule Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 542 (1920), the infamous case involving the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which disregarded the limited nature of the federal government, and the text of the Tenth Amendment. Read More

Shaun McCutcheon v. FEC Amicus Brief for Downsize DC Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

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. Read More

United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives Amicus Brief on Jurisdiction and Standing Questions for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief on jurisdiction and standing questions in the case of United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Supreme Court in support of resp. Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Public Advocate of the U.S., Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, English First, English First Foundation., Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Protect Marriage Maryland PAC, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Senator Dick Black. Read More

Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. Amicus Brief for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Public Advocate of the United States, Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, English First, and Protect Marriage Maryland PAC. Read More

United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives Amicus Brief for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Supreme Court in support of resp. Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Public Advocate of the U.S., Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, English First, Protect Marriage Maryland PAC, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Senator Dick Black. Read More

Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., et al., Amicus Brief for Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Shelby County, Alabamav. 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. Read More

William P. Danielczyk, Jr., et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for Citizens United, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

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.” Read More

James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, et al. v. Amnesty International USA, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, et al. v. Amnesty International USA, et al.in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners Foundation (http://www.gunowners.com/)
Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org
U.S. Justice Foundation (https://usjf.net/)
Downsize DC Foundation (http://www.downsizedcfoundation.org/)
DownsizeDC.org (http://www.downsizedc.org/)
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (http://www.cldef.org/) Read More

Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. Amicus Brief for Public Advocate of the United States, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

Brought as a challenge to California Proposition 8, this case concerns whether homosexuals desiring the benefits of marriage have a constitutional right to compel that marriage be redefined to accommodate their sexual preferences. Our amicus brief urges that the petition for a writ of certiorari be granted to correct the badly flawed opinions below, and to reconsider the Supreme Court’s decision in Romer. Read More

Personhood Oklahoma v. Brittany Mays Barber, et al. Amicus Brief for Joyce Meyer Ministries, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Personhood Oklahoma v. Brittany Mays Barber, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

By striking the proposed initiative amending the Oklahoma constitution by defining “person” as it appears in the state constitution, the court below misused Planned Parenthood v. Casey to deprive the people of Oklahoma of a power reserved them by the Tenth Amendment. Our amicus brief argues that the petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted because the petition presents a question of momentous significance to the powers reserved by the Tenth Amendment to the people. The definition of “person” in the proposed amendment is not repugnant to any provision in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore, the initiative is not outside the powers of the people reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment. Read More

Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al. Amicus Brief for Capitol Hill Prayer Alert Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

Our amicus brief argues that the petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted, but not limited to petitioner’s two questions, both of which rest upon the assumption that the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause imposes an “equal protection” limit on the exercise of Congress’s Taxing and Spending Powers. Our amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to add to the questions to be addressed whether section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) violates the Fifth Amendment Due Process guarantee as it is written, not as it has been construed by the Supreme Court. Read More

State of Arizona, et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of State of Arizona et al.v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our amicus brief argues that S.B. 1070 is a constitutional exercise of Arizona’s inherent power of self-preservation, the purpose of which is “attrition” of the numbers of illegal aliens living in Arizona. As an exercise of the State’s concurrent power over immigration, Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is not preempted by federal law. Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is an exercise of its constitutional power to engage in war against an actual invasion. The current illegal immigration into Arizona constitutes an “actual invasion,” and Arizona’s “policy of attrition by enforcement” is a proper exercise of its express power to defend against an actual invasion. Instead of performing its constitutional duty to protect Arizona against invasion, the federal government has undermined the State, placing upon it unfunded mandates that attract illegal aliens into the State, and bestowing benefits upon illegal aliens for political reasons. Read More

Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al. (Obamacare), Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al.(Obamacare) in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents (minimum coverage provision). The brief asked the Court to overturn two of its most extreme, and controversial, Commerce Clause holdings:

“The Government believes that this law is fully justified under this Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence, particularly relying on United States v. Darby and Wickard v. Filburn. These revolutionary Supreme Court decisions cast aside settled constitutional doctrine for reasons of political expediency in the wake of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s threat to pack the Court. The time has come that they should be re-examined and overturned, lest Congress conclude that it can compel whatever behavior it believes would make us a more healthy People — leading us to a totalitarian state where everything not prohibited is mandated.” Read More

Louisiana v. Bryson, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Louisiana v. John Bryson in the United States Supreme Court in support of plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 Census.

The United States Census Bureau maintains that it “is required by the U.S. Constitution to count everyone living in this country, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.” Our amicus brief argues that the Census Bureau claim is demonstrably untrue. Read More

Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. This petition presents to the Supreme Court a clash between a federal law mandating the individual purchase of its approved healthcare insurance — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) — and a state law securing to state residents the freedom to choose whether or not to purchase such insurance — the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (“VHCFA”). Read More

United States v. Antoine Jones Amicus Brief for Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of United States v.Antoine Jones in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondent, Antoine Jones. Our amicus brief argues that the government’s extreme position that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to GPS surveillance on public roadways is insupportable.

The government’s extreme view that the Fourth Amendment is completely irrelevant is made possible only by the Supreme Court’s mistaken jurisprudence that the Fourth Amendment only applies to situations wherein persons have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The “expectation of privacy” test for searches and seizures arose without support in the text or historical context of the Fourth Amendment, and has proven wholly inadequate to protect the American people from their government. Had the Supreme Court previously adhered to the original text of the Fourth Amendment, rather than substituting their own language, the right of the people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects” would have preserved their privacy by a permanent wall of the unalienable right of private property. Read More

State of Arizona et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control and English First Foundation, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of State of Arizona et al.v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ petition for a writ of certiorari. Our brief argues that it is the preeminent duty of the Supreme Court to preserve the balance between the federal and state governments struck by the United States Constitution.

While Article VI of the Constitution provides that constitutional federal law is the supreme law of the land, it is incumbent upon the courts to remember that the powers of Congress are few and definite, while the powers of the State are many and indefinite. Indeed, it is even more critical to recall that the governments of the original 13 states preceded the government of the United States both in time and in right. If this truth is forgotten, the Supremacy Clause will be misused, subordinating the several states to the national government when the Constitution is replete with provisions designed to preserve the States as sovereign political communities with reserved powers to protect and to preserve themselves as free and independent states. Read More

United States v. Antoine Jones Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of United States v. Antoine Jones in the United States Supreme Court. Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, U.S. Justice Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Inc., Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., DownsizeDC.org, Downsize DC Foundation, and The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education. Read More

Daniel Chapter One v. Federal Trade Commission, Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Daniel Chapter One, et al. v. Federal Trade Commission in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ petition for writ of certiorari. Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of U.S. Justice Foundation (www.usjf.net) and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.cldef.org).

Our brief argues that the Court of Appeals erroneously allowed the FTC to assert jurisdiction over Daniel Chapter One and that requiring Daniel Chapter One to substantiate its product claims by “controlled clinical studies” is outside FTC’s statutory authority. Further our brief argues that no government has authority to dictate the health care choices of competent individuals. Lastly, parts of the FTC’s order substantially burden Daniel Chapter One’s exercise of religion in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and contravene the First Amendment principle of speaker autonomy. Read More

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett, Amicus Brief for Gun Owners of America, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Election Law, U. S. Supreme Court

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. Read More