United States v. Monifa J. Sterling

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces

Today our firm filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces an amicus brief defending the right of a United States Marine to post small signs containing Bible verses at her work station.

Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling printed and taped a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17 at three places around her workspace:  “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”  The three locations were designed to represent the Trinity, that is, the three persons of the Godhead — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Her Staff Sergeant twice ordered Sterling to take the display down.  Sterling twice refused, explaining that the signs were based on her religion, meant for her alone, and not meant to offend anyone.  Sterling was court-martialed for several offenses including disobeying the orders to remove her signs.  Sterling appealed her conviction on the grounds that the order to remove her signs violated her First Amendment Free Exercise rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States Petition for Reconsideration in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces

Today we filed a Petition for Reconsideration in the case of Michael G. New v. United States in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

By this petition, we seek reconsideration of Michael New’s writ-appeal petition on the ground that both the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces orders violate: (i) the two-tiered legal standard governing the exercise of discretion respecting Mr. New’s petition for a writ of error coram nobis established by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Denedo v. United States and (ii) the Fifth Amendment Due Process guarantee of “full and fair consideration,” as established by the Supreme Court in Burns v. Wilson. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States Reply Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces

On July 16, 2012, we filed Petitioner’s Reply to Respondent’s Answer to Petitioner’s Writ-Appeal Petition for Review of Army Court of Criminal Appeals Deceision on Application for Extraordinary Relief in the Form of a Writ of Error Coram Nobis in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

The Petition for a Writ of Coram Nobis and more information about the case is available here. Read More