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 of Columbia ordered the FEC to change its rules in unspecified ways apparently to force nonprofits to disclosure the names of every donor to a nonprofit even made in response to a solicitation that simply mentions doing IEs.
Today, we filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of a challenge to the D.C. Concealed Carry statute which was brought by Matthew Grace and others. Our brief argues that the District of Columbia Council based its argument on the notion of hidden exceptions to the Bill of Rights, and a flawed understanding of the difference between the restricted nature of firearms rights in England versus the unrestricted nature of firearms rights in the Colonies. Our brief also argues that it is illegitimate for the Court to engage in judicial balancing tests of any type, as they were barred by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. Lastly, we argued that the government does not have the authority to make predictive judgments as to who may violate the law and restrict liberties to prevent crimes that it fears may someday occur.
Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in support of a challenge to the District of Columbia’s requirement that a person must demonstrate a “good reason” in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Our brief noted that before Heller, the federal courts perpetuated the charade that the right of “the People” was a collective rather than an individual right. Now, we argued, the lower courts are perpetuating a new charade — that rights which “shall not be infringed” can indeed be infringed so long as the government strongly desires to do so, and judges believe the regulations are reasonable. Our brief argued that use of such “interest-balancing” tests permits judges to come to whatever result they prefer, as this case uniquely indicates.
Today we filed an amicus brief in support of the Independence Institute in their challenge to the Federal Election Commission’s regulations requiring the names and addresses of donors to nonprofits doing issue ads, which technically meet the criteria of Independent Expenditures, to be disclosed. Our brief explains the motivation of Congress for wanting this information.
Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, supporting another challenge by the legendary Dick Heller to the District of Columbia’s onerous firearm registration and licensing requirements. This is our firm’s third amicus brief supporting Heller’s challenges to these DC gun regulations. In 2008, the Supreme Court adopted the type of analysis recommended by our first amicus brief.
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Center for Individual Freedom, et al. v. Chris Van Hollen, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of appellants and reversal.
Our brief argues that the BCRA section 201 provision requiring disclosure of the names and addresses of all contributors who contributed an aggregate of $1,000 or more is subject to the rule of statutory construction to avoid serious constitutional problems. The Supreme Court did not address or resolve in Citizens United the constitutionality of whether the disclosure requirement applied to any donor who gave money generally to the publisher of an electioneering communication without direction as to how the funds should be used. Forced disclosures are subject to “exacting scrutiny” requiring proof of a strong governmental interest in the prevention of corruption or the appearance of corruption. The government interest in a better informed public, standing by itself, is not sufficient to override the well-established anonymity principle undergirding the freedoms of speech and the press. To avoid compromising that principle, BCRA’s disclosure provision should be construed to require proof that the “contributor who contributed” did so with the specific purpose of supporting an electioneering communication.
On behalf of Daniel Chapter One (“DCO”), today we filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit the reply brief of petitioners. The DCO reply brief argues that the FTC brief unjustifiedly disparages DCO and the Feijos’ relationship to it in an erroneous effort to assert jurisdiction over a ministry. Further, the FTC brief’s claim that DCO’s ads created the overall net impression that its products claims were based upon controlled clinical studies is not supported in fact or by law. Finally, the FTC brief is mistaken about DCO’s constitutional and Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims.
On behalf of Daniel Chapter One (“DCO”), today we filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit the brief of petitioners. The DCO brief argues that the FTC failed to establish jurisdiction over DCO and exceeded its statutory authority by misuse of its “reasonable basis” theory and test. Further, the FTC order is arbitrary and capricious, being the product of a blind adherence to the religion of scientism. Finally, the FTC action and order unconstitutionally abridged DCO’s freedom of speech, and the FTC erroneously dismissed DCO’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and First Amendment “speaker autonomy” claims.
On July 30, 2010, in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, our firm filed the only amicus curiae brief filed in support of the challenge by appellant Dick Heller and others to portions of the D.C. Code that (i) require registration of all firearms, (ii) prohibit registration of so-called “assault weapons” and (iii) prohibit possession of so-called “high capacity” magazines.
Our brief argues that the District Court erred when it upheld the District’s laws employing “intermediate scrutiny” – a judicially created standard of review that permits laws that are “reasonably related to an important government interest.” Our brief demonstrates that the Supreme Court has rejected such “interest balancing” standards of review in both the Heller Iand McDonald cases. Instead, once a court determines that a person is part of “the people” and that the weapon is one of the “arms” protected by the Second Amendment, the amendment provides its own standard of review — “shall not be infringed.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Daniel Chapter One (“DCO”) motion requesting a hearing on the DCO claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”).
On behalf of Daniel Chapter One (“DCO”), today we filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit a reply to the FTC’s opposition to the DCO motion requesting a hearing on DCO’s claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”).
On behalf of Daniel Chapter One (“DCO”), today we filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit a motion requesting a hearing on DCO’s claim that application of parts of the FTC’s modified final order substantially burdens DCO’s exercise of religion in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”).
Today, the legal team for Michael New filed a petition for rehearing en banc of New’s collateral attack on his court-martial conviction for disobedience of a “lawful” order. In his petition, New documents the unmistakable fact that the three-judge panel decision — affirming the district court’s dismissal of his complaint that he was denied due process of law at his court-martial — departed completely from the standard of review established in the District of Columbia Circuit for nearly 40 years.
On February 16 at 9:30AM, Herb Titus is scheduled for oral argument on behalf of Michael New before Circuit Judges Randolph and Garland and Senior Judge Williams, urging the appellate panel to reverse U.S. District Judge Friedman’s order dismissing Mr. New’s claim that he was unconstitutionally convicted of disobedience of a lawful order. Central to Mr. New’s constitutional claims is the contention that he was deprived of his liberty without due process of law by a court-martial proceeding (a) in which the prosecution was relieved of its statutory duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the order to wear the U.N. uniform was a “lawful” order and (b) in which the defendant was denied any opportunity to show that the order violated both his statutory and constitutional rights on the ground that his claims raised “political questions” outside the jurisdiction of the court-martial. William J. Olson and John S. Miles of the firm and Henry L. Hamilton are with Mr. Titus on the briefs.
On November 23, 2005, Michael New’s legal team filed a hard-hitting reply brief to the United States government’s continuing attempt to avoid New’s claim that his 1996 court-martial conviction for disobedience of a “lawful” order was unconstitutional. For over 10 years now, the government has sought to dismiss New’s claim that a 1995 order to wear a U.N. uniform and submit to the operational control of a foreign military officer was a political question. In his reply brief, New argues convincingly that the cases upon which the government has relied are totally irrelevant, having to do with orders issued to American soliders to serve under American, not foreign, command.
We filed, on behalf of Michael New, an Initial Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This brief presents for decision whether the district court improperly dismissed — for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted — each of the four counts of New’s Second Amended Complaint, collaterally attacking his January 25, 1996 court-martial conviction and bad conduct discharge for having violated an allegedly lawful order contrary to Article 92(2) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Our firm filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund focusing on the lack of procedural due process that inexorably attaches to the Postal Service’s interpretation of 39 U.S.C. section 3626(j)(1)(B) that its decisions as to who can mail what at nonprofit rates are not reviewable in federal court. Our constitutional analysis supplies the court with an additional reason for construing 39 U.S.C. section 410(a) narrowly.