Jeremy Kettler v. United States

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

Today, we filed a Petition for Certiorari on behalf of Jeremy Kettler, who was convicted of possessing an unregistered firearm suppressor.  Our petition asks the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision, and to determine whether the National Firearms Act continues to be an appropriate exercise of Congress’s taxing power due to the many changes that have been made to the NFA over the last eight decades.  Additionally, if the NFA is still justifiable under the taxing power, we have asked the Court to determine whether firearm accessories such as suppressors are protected by the Second Amendment and whether the NFA is impermissible as a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right. Read More

Gun Owners of America files Motion for Preliminary Injunction Against Bumpstock Regulations

admin Administrative Law, Litigation, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Today, our firm filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking to stop the Bumpstock regulations from going into effect on March 26, as planned.

(Plaintiffs’) Motion for Preliminary Injunction (December 26, 2018)

(Plaintiffs’) Memorandum in Support of Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (December 26, 2018)

(Plaintiffs’) Party Declarations (December 26, 2018)

(Plaintiffs’) Richard Vasquez Declaration (December 26, 2018) Read More

Gun Owners of America files Challenge to ATF Bumpstock Regulations

admin Administrative Law, Litigation, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Today, ATF published in the Federal Register its final regulations imposing a total ban on private ownership of bumpstocks, overruling numerous prior ATF decisions.  Later that same day, our firm filed a chellenge to this regulation on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Guy Owners Foundation, Virginia Citizen Defense League, and three individuals — Matt Watkins, Tim Harmsen and Rachel Malone.  The challange was filed in the federal district court for the Western District of Michigan. Read More

The American Legion v. American Humanist Association (Bladensburg Cross Merits)

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed our second brief in support of the Bladensburg Cross in Maryland. We earlier filed a brief at the petition stage on July 27, 2018. Our brief attacks existing Supreme Court Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and calls upon the Court not to end the judicial assault on Christianity.

Link to brief

American Thinker: Why Did Michael Cohen Plead Guilty to Campaign Finance Crimes That Aren’t Campaign Finance Crimes?

admin Election Law, Publications

Jeremiah Morgan wrote this interesting take on why Michael Cohen would plead guilty to a non-crime. First, he explains why there is no campaign finance law violation here, and then discusses how this case provides a precedent to support the ever-increasing criminalization of politics in America.

Link to article

DHS v. Regents of the University of California & Nielsen v. Vidal (DACA)

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed our third brief in support of President Trump’s rescission of President Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program. We urge the Supreme Court to review the three pending injunctions against the rescission issued by Democrat judges. We asked the High Court to determine the legality of “universal injunctions” by district judges, as well as the constitutionality of the original DACA program.

Link to brief

Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief supporting the owners of a small bakery in Oregon (Sweetcakes by Melissa) who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding because of their religious convictions.  For this, they were fined $135,000 and ordered to cease and desist following their religious convictions.  This case is similar to Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case in which we filed two briefs, but which was not decided on the central issue — the extent to which public accommodation can restrict the Free Exercise of Religion.

Link to brief

Young v. Hawaii

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

Today we filed an amicus brief opposing a request for rehearing by the State of Hawaii of a Ninth Circuit decision which overturned Hawaii’s virtual ban on citizens bearing weapons.  We opposed Hawaii’s argument that its laws against carrying firearms were long-standing, explaining that those laws existed when Hawaii was a monarchy where the reigning king or queen was sovereign — not as in the United States where the people are sovereign.

Link to brief

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.

Link to brief

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)

Link to brief in support of rehearing
Link to motion for leave

Law 360 Article Discusses our Harris Funeral Home Brief

admin Press Coverage, Statutory Construction

Bill Olson was quoted in an article by Braden Campbell called “States, Faith Groups Tell Justices To Hear Trans Bias Case,” in Law 360:  “’We have a lower federal judiciary that’s spinning out of control as circuits race toward political correctness, and if the Supreme Court doesn’t restore order, it’s hard to know where this is going to end,’ Olson said, referencing other rulings interpreting Title VII to cover gay workers.”

Link to article

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.

Link to brief

Article: Trump Administration Rift on LGBT Worker Rights Nears Showdown

admin Press Coverage, Statutory Construction

Chris Opfer of BNA News wrote an article about the Zarda case where we filed a brief and other similar cases.where LGBTQ? advocates are asking judges to re-write the 1964 Civil Rights Act to grant them special rights.

The Article quotes Bill Olson, saying “Not only is it an effort to have a societal sanction for an immoral lifestyle, but it’s being accomplished by unelected judges who are admitting they are changing the law,”

Link to article

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.

Our brief argued that the Court should take the case to revisit the test in Lemon v. Kurtzman, which has been roundly criticized since it was decided.   We urged the Court to apply an interpretive test suited to the Establishment Clause’s original text. Our brief proposes the proper test that the Court should adopt, which focuses not on whether the monument uses religious symbolism, but the use of the religious symbol , which here was to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, not to proselytize.  As we have done in many prior briefs, we explain that the Religion Clauses establish a jurisdictional barrier to the the actions of federal government, including the federal judges.

Link to brief

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.

The facts of the case involve a homosexual skydiving instructor who claimed he was fired for his sexual orientation.  Our brief explains that he was fired not because he was a homosexual, but because of his inappropriate behavior towards female clients.  But even if he had been fired for his “sexual orientation,” that is not a basis to bring a suit under Title VII which only sanctions discrimination based on “sex.”

Link to brief

Citizens United v. Department of Justice (Case No. 1:18-cv-01446)

admin FOIA Law, U. S. District Court, District of Columbia

Today, on behalf of Citizens United, we filed a Complaint under the Freedom of Information Act against the Justice Department, seeking certain records relating to communications between former Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik and former FBI agent Peter Strzok.  The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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