Today Herb Titus and I wrote an article carried in The American Thinker on the missing spiritual dimension in addressing the Corona Virus. Here is just a bit: “We know from Daniel 2:17 that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.” But we must come to the Lord on His terms, not ours. He has the power to remove temporal judgments from the people, but repeatedly in Scripture we see His precondition of repentance — a change of mind, and a change of behavior. See 2 Peter 3.”
Today, with Kerry Morgan, Esquire of Wyandotte, Michigan, we filed suit on behalf of gun owners against the U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to challenge an unlawful action of ATF affecting Michigan gun owners. On March 3, 2020, ATF issued a determination letter that directed Michigan FFLs to refuse to accept a concealed pistol license in lieu of a NICS background check from the FBI when buying a gun. Federal law allows the use of such a license to purchase a firearm. Our complaint can be found here.
The Western Journal published an article by Herb Titus and Bill Olson about the rant by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer against Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. This article focused on what may have been the real purpose of the attack — to rally leftists to the pro-abortion cause by misrepresenting to the the rabidly pro-abortion crowd and their friends around the country about what a repeal of Roe v. Wade could mean.
Today our firm was represented at VCDL Lobby Day in Richmond by Bill Olson, Jeremiah Morgan, and Robert Olson, left to right below. We were obviously dressed for the occasion, as the temperature climbed slowly from 25 degrees when we hit the streets. Honored to stand for “the right to keep and bear arms” with tens of thousands of peaceful, law-abiding Virginians and others from around the country. There was no place in America which was more safe than in the middle of this well-equipped assembly exercising our right to petition government.
After we filed our Emergency Petition for Review last night, this morning at about 9:15 am, the Solicitor General of Virginia filed his Response in Opposition. We filed our Reply to that Opposition about 1:00 pm. The Virginia Supreme Court issued an Order denying our Petition for Review about 6:15 pm.
About 6:00 pm this evening, we filed in the Virginia Supreme Court an Emergency Petition for Review asking the Court to enjoin Governor Northam’s Executive Order banning firearms on the grounds of the Virginia Capitol, as unauthorized by law, in violation of law (Virginia Code section 44-146.15) , and unconstitutional. (See next entry.)
About noon on Wednesday, January 15, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia and issued Executive Order 49, which temporarily bans the possession or carrying of firearms in Richmond on Lobby Day (Monday, January 20). Today, Thursday, January 16, about noon, on behalf of Gun Owners of America and Virginia Citizens Defense League, and three individuals, our firm filed a Complaint and Application in the the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, seeking a temporary injunction against the Governor’s order. In this case, we are working with David G. Browne, Esquire of Spiro and Browne, in Richmond. A hearing was held before Judge Joi Jeter Taylor from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Judge Taylor issued an Order denying our Application at 4:31 pm. (This led to our filing an Emergency Petition for Review in the Virginia Supreme Court about 6:00 pm (see next entry).
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
Tonight, approximately 3,000 people came out to support Fauquier County, Virginia adopting a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution. Rob Olson spoke out in favor of the resolution supported by Virginia Civilian Defense League (VCDL), but against the watered down version that had been proposed. As he advised the elected officials: “Let’s do better than this. Let’s grow a spine and adopt something that’s meaningful.” Watch the video here.
Today, Rob Olson presented oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in our continuing litigation against ATF’s bump stock regulation issued in December 2018. The issue today before the court was the correctness of District Judge Paul Maloney’s ruling denying our motion for a preliminary injunction against the regulation. This article in CourthouseNews discusses the oral argument.
Today we filed comments with the IRS, supporting its proposed regulation to eliminate the requirement for exempt organizations, other than IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, to identify the name and address of their largest donors on their IRS Form 990s. These comments were filed for Free Speech Coalition, Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, and eleven other organizations. We asked the IRS to expand the exemption to include section 501(c)(3) organizations as well.
John Crump of Ammoland wrote an article about Gun Owners of America obtaining from ATF its internal “Firearms Industry Operations Manual.” This manual allows FFLs to better prepare for inspections by ATF. The manual was obtained by GOA in a matter our firm handled A PDF of the manual is available here.
Rob Olson joined with Tim Harmsen of the Military Arms Channel, Erich Pratt and Jordan Stein to attend today’s Second Amendment Rally in Washington D.C. Tim Harmsen is one of the plaintiffs, along with GOA and GOF, in challenging the ATF Bumpstock ban.
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.
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in a challenge to a California law limiting the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds. We explain that the two-step test used by the lower federal courts undermines the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald. And we explain that weapons useful in military service are exactly the type of weapons covered by the Second Amendment under United States v. Miller and Heller.
Today our firm filed its second amicus brief in a challenge to the most sweeping Fourth Amendment violations ever committed by the U.S. government. (Our last brief was filed over four years ago.) This suit seeks to stop three different mass surveillance programs operated by the federal government — programs which have seized Internet (email, internet searches, etc.) and telephone communications
Today we filed our reply brief in the Sixth Circuit challenge to the ATF bumpstock regulations brought by Gun Owners of America. The issue is the district court’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the ATF from declaring bump stocks contraband, by classifying them as machine guns.
Today we filed our second amicus brief in the defense of a firearms manufacturer who was sued in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook shooting. Our prior brief was in the Connecticut Supreme Court. This brief supports the manufacturer’s effort to obtain review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of the plaintiffs’ theories were rejected by the Connecticut Supreme Court, but it allowed the case to proceed based on advertising that supposedly would have appealed to young males to conduct shootings. Our brief explains why the Connecticut Court erred in its creation of a huge exception to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a statute designed specifically to protect firearms manufacturers and dealers from suits such as this one.
Today we file our fourth amicus brief in support of President Trump’s authority to rescind President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA policy. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to review the lower court orders which have prevented President Trump from changing policy, and we address the issues in our merits amicus brief. We explain why the decision to end DACA was not judicially reviewable, and that DACA itself was unlawful. Our prior briefs were filed February 2, 2018 in the U.S. Supreme Court, March 14, 2018 in the Second Circuit, and December 6, 2018 in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today we filed our third amicus brief in support of Altitude Express from a case brought by a homosexual skydiving instructor who was fired for speaking inappropriately at work about his sexual orientation. The Altitude Express case has been consolidated with a case from the Eleventh Circuit — Bostock. As in the Harris Funeral Case, we explain that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Ac does not apply to sexual orientation.
Today we filed our third amicus brief in support of a Christian employer, Harris Funeral Homes, against a case brought by a male who demanded his employer allow him to dress like a woman. We explained why Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act could never be interpreted to apply to such claims.
Today, Bill Olson and Herb Titus co-authored a paper explaining the serious dangers associated with the calling of an Article V Constitutional Convention. The paper addressed two false premises underlying the proposal: 1. The problem of big government is found in the text of the U.S. Constitution, which can be corrected by changing the words of the document. 2. The only remedy to the problem of