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 Speech Coalition, and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund. 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 without a warrant, which the Carpenter decision affirmed was protected by the Fourth Amendment. (This is our second amicus brief that we filed in this case, the first being filed on July 26, 2017) Read More

Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to grant a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to review its decision giving a meaning to Title VII that Congress never intended.  The Sixth Circuit decided to change a 50-year old understanding of Title VII to accommodate to the demands of LGBTQ activists, by barring employment discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”  Our brief explained the radical nature of recent the Hively and Zarda cases where courts chose to amend Title VII under the guise of re-interpretation of the statute.  This follows on the two briefs we filed in Zarda, and the earlier brief we filed in the Harris Funeral Home case when it was in the Sixth Circuit. 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 into an Egyptian obelisk. Read More

Altitude Express v. Zarda

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a petition for certiorari to review a circuit court decision giving homosexuals the right to sue employers, even though Congress never authorized such suits.  Ten liberal Second Circuit judges joined a decision to rewrite Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in employment.  This follows a similar ruling from the Seventh Circuit. Read More

Gundy v. United States

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus merits brief in the Supreme Court addressing the 80-year old anti-delegation doctrine.  Our brief explains why the “intelligible principle” test that was adopted by the Court has failed to uphold the constitution’s structural integrity.  We explain that separation of powers is essential to preserve the liberty of the American people.  And we explain why it is particularly problematic for Congress to delegate to an unelected bureaucrat the power to criminalize behavior.

Link to brief

Texas v. United States

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

Today, we filed the only amicus brief supporting a 20-state challenge to Obamacare being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.  The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas  In December 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which eliminated the Obamacare penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate.  The Texas lawsuit asks that Obamacare be declared unconstitutional in its entirety, since a zero tax cannot form the basis of the exercise of the taxing power.

Link to brief

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

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

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

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security v. Regents of U. California

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

Today we filed another brief relating to President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA policy — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This brief supported the Trump Administration’s to obtain U.S. Supreme Court before judgment review of a nationwide injunction issued by District Judge William H. Alsup.

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 and Education Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, One Nation Under God Foundation, Pass the Salt Ministries, Eberle Associates, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, and The Transforming Word Ministries. Read More

Hawaii v. Trump

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Today, we filed our seventh amicus brief in support of President Trump’s immigration actions, this time, in support of his September 24, 2017 Proclamation.  Our brief challenged the purported standing of the plaintiffs below, where the district court based standing on the Establishment Clause, but then granted the injunction based on statutory grounds.  Our brief argued that the question in this case was a political one, exceeding the scope of judicial powers, and also raised the point that the President has inherent constitutional authority over immigration.  Next, our brief demonstrated that the district court relied extensively on the Ninth Circuit’s previous opinion in Hawaii v. Trump, but that decision has since been vacated, stripping it of precedential value.  Finally, we noted that the district court failed to address the public safety basis of President Trump’s Proclamation. Read More

United States v. Kettler — Reply Brief

Jeremiah Morgan Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Today, we filed a reply brief responding to the Government’s brief in opposition on behalf of Jeremy Kettler.  Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).  Read our previous discussion of the case and opening brief here.

Read Reply Brief here.

 

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, irrespective of where the automobile is located. Read More

Kenosha School District v. Whitaker

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

In our brief, we challenged the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had concluded that there was no privacy interests of other students implicated by members of the opposite sex using their restrooms.  This, we argued, rejected out of hand the long standing and universal practice of restroom separation by sex, based on nothing more than the judges’ own policy preferences.  Moreover, we argued, the court’s opinion was utterly oblivious to the numerous adverse consequences that would flow from its decision, applying not just to restrooms but to school locker rooms and showers as well, which will lead to all manner of disruption and injury to students. 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