FBI v. Fazaga — FISA & State Secrets Privilege

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in support of certain Muslims in Los Angeles who were surveilled electronically and otherwise by the FBI and a confidential informant. The FBI has asserted the state secrets doctrine to seek dismissal of most claims, including a FISA claim under which the district court could conduct an ex parte in camera review of the surveillance to determine if there were Read More

Caniglia v. Strom

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in support of a challenge to a First Circuit decision which upheld an illegal search and seizure of firearms by police after a Petitioner husband and his wife had a non-violent, non-threatening argument.  Tired of arguing with his wife, the husband threw down an unloaded handgun and said something like “just shoot me.”  The next day the police showed Read More

Lange v. California

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief opposing warrantless home invasions by police officers in pursuit of fleeing misdemeanor suspects.  Both parties asked the court to reject a categorical approach that would allow such searches, but both favored a case-by-case rule that could allow such searches in some cases. To remain consistent with the text, history and tradition of the Fourth Amendment, we argued in favor of a categorical rule against such warrantless home invasions.

Link to brief

Rodriguez v. City of San Jose

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review an inexplicable Ninth Circuit decision upholding an illegal search and seizure of firearms by the San Jose Police after her husband had a mental health crisis. Seven years after that seizure, the City of San Jose, California is still refusing to return her firearms to her. Even though Lori Rodriguez is not a disqualified person, more than seven years later, she is still fighting a court battle to recover those firearms, a battle which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Link to brief

Jewel v. NSA

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

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 Read More

Johnson v. United States

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

Today we filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to re-examine its Terry v. Ohio, stop-and-frisk doctrine. Although Terry stop and frisks were limited to a search for weapons, in this case one was used to justify seizing a bullet. Since that decision in 1968, both Fourth and Second Amendment law has changed. The property basis of the Fourth Amendment has been re-established, and the Read More

Doe v. Woodard

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief involving a challenge to a Fourth Amendment violation by a social worker who strip-searched a four-year-old girl, without consent of the child or her mother, in search of tell-tale signs of child abuse.  The Tenth Circuit dismissed the case, ruling that the social worker was not liable under the Supreme Court’s doctrine of qualified immunity.  Our brief argues for limitations on the qualified immunity doctrine, and explains why the doctrine does not apply in this case.

Link to brief

Zodhiates v. United States

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari challenging the government’s ability to track citizens through Cell Site Location Information (CSLI) obtained without a warrant. In this case, the trial court allowed the government to introduce 28 months of CSLI obtained by a prosecutor using a mere Grand Jury Subpoena. We argue that the Carpenter v. United States decision, Read More

United States v. Zodhiates

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

Today we filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit in support of a petition for rehearing en banc, asking the Court to reconsider its decision which misapplied the Supreme Court’s decision in Carpenter v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2006 (June 22, 2018). The trial court allowed the government to introduce evidence of “Cell Site Location Information” (“CSLI”) obtained Read More

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

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

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, Read More

United States v. Seerden

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in defense of a service member whose cell phone was searched and seized by the military in an unlawful manner.  As we have in the Jones case, the Graham case, the Zodhiates case, and others we explain how the Fourth Amendment first and foremost protects property rights, not some vague “reasonable Read More

United States v. Zodhiates

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

Today we filed a brief in the Second Circuit challenging the Government’s use of cell phone location information obtained from a cell phone provider in response to a grand jury subpoena.  We explain that under the Jones and Jardines textual/historic analysis that the cell phone user has a protected privacy interest in these records.

Accordingly, under the Fourth Amendment, the Government must Read More

United States v. Ackerman

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, District of Kansas

Today, we filed an amicus brief in support of a motion to suppress evidence in a criminal case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.  The case is on remand from an appeal to the Tenth Circuit which resulted in a decision written by Judge (now Justice) Neil Gorsuch.  Gorsuch had pointed out that the search of an email with its attachments could constitute a violation of the email Read More

Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a deeply flawed decision of the Virginia Supreme Court involving the Fourth Amendment.  The cased involved different ways that courts evaluate the constitutionality of searches and seizures.  The search in this case was of a motorcycle under a tarp located what is known as the “curtilage” of a home, or the area Read More

Graham v. United States

admin Constitutional 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 in a case involving a Fourth Amendment violation where a person’s whereabouts were tracked for months by seizing his cell site location information. We argued against the Supreme Court’s “third-party doctrine,” which holds that a person does not have a “reasonable Read More

Article: “Manuel v. Joliet: Blocking the Courthouse Door to Victims of Police Misconduct”

admin Publications

This morning, the American Thinker published Jeremiah Morgan’s article about the amicus brief we filed in Manuel v. City of Joliet.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this case on Wednesday, October 5.  The article explains why victims of police misconduct should be able to bring a Fourth Amendment based suit when police fabricate evidence to obtain an indictment.

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