Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Today,we filed our third brief opposing NSA’s program of “Upstream” Internet surveillance of Americans.  Our brief urges the Fourth Circuit to reverse the decision of the District Court in Maryland which found that neither Wikimedia Foundation — which runs Wikipedia — nor the other plaintiffs in the case, had standing to challenge that surveillance.

Link to brief

Stormans, Inc. v. Wiesman

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

With our brief in Stormans, our firm has now made its 100th filing in the U.S. Supreme Court. Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending a Christian-owned pharmacy from attack by the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission due to that pharmacy’s refusal to stock and sell abortifacient drugs.

Although the Pharmacy Commission is a government agency, its steps were largely directed by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
Our brief explained why the Pharmacy Commission had no basis for its rule narrowly designed to prevent pharmacies from acting on their moral and religious objections to stocking and dispensing certain types of pharmaceuticals.  Additionally, our brief demonstrated the real-world consequences of government taking sides in each political debate, so as to render unlawful any resistance to the agenda of a Secular Humanist state. Read More

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting two Texas laws requiring that abortions be performed only at certain types of facilities by physicians with  hospital admission privileges.   We set out why the pro-abortion petitioners, and the Obama Administration as amicus curiae, misrepresent to the Court its own abortion jurisprudence.  However, even more importantly, our brief explains why Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Read More

United States v. Graham

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

Today our firm filed a brief supporting a Fourth Amendment challenge to the warrantless use of cell site location information.

The brief was filed on behalf of DownsizeDC.org, Downsize DC Foundation, United States Justice Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Institute on the Constitution.

Link to brief

Zubik v. Burwell
Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed a brief supporting a challenge to the contraceptive/abortifacient imposed by Obamacare.  Our brief asked the U.S. Supreme Court to expand the scope of its review, which is now narrowly limited to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) issue, to also include the First Amendment issue.

The brief was filed on behalf of U.S. Justice Foundation, Eberle Communications Group, Public Advocate of the United States, Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Institute on the Constitution, Policy Analysis Center, Southwest  Prophecy Ministries, Daniel Chapter One, and Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall. Read More

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

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig & David — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Colorado Supreme Court, Constitutional Law

Today we filed an a brief in the Colorado Supreme Court urging it to review a decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals which had upheld a decision of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission penalizing the Christian bakery for refusing to bake a cake to be used in the celebration of a same sex marriage.

It is strange indeed that the people of Colorado had adopted in 2006 a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, and the state legislature had passed laws implementing that constitutional provision. but now other state laws were being interpreted to force a Christian business to participation in the celebration of that same type of unlawful marriage. Read More

Silvester v. Harris — Amicus Brief

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

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in support of a challenge to California’s 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases. One of the most draconian states when it comes to Second Amendment rights, California forces its residents to wait 10 days after a purchase before a lawful buyer may acquire a lawful firearm.

First, our brief dispelled the notion that California’s waiting period is “presumptively lawful” under Heller as a “condition on commercial sales of arms.” Second, our brief showed that waiting periods for firearm purchases do not fall within any of Heller’s “presumptively lawful” categories of regulations. Finally, our brief argued that, while the district court below correctly determined that the waiting period is unconstitutional, it did so for the wrong reasons. The district court based its decision not on the text and context of the Second Amendment, but on the same type of judicially-devised interest balancing test that the Supreme Court rejected in Heller. Read More

Texas v. United States — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, supporting the challenge by State of Texas and 25 other states to the Obama Administration’s misuse of “executive action” (“DAPA”) to implement provisions of the DREAM Act that Congress refused to enact.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, English First Foundation, English First, TREA Senior Citizens League, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., U.S. Border Control Foundation, Policy Analysis Center, Institute on the Constitution, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund. Read More

Peruta v. San Diego, Richards v. County of Yolo — Amicus Brief

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

Today our firm filed a brief supporting the right to “bear” arms in California. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit previously handed down an opinion striking down San Diego County’s policy under which “self-defense” was not considered to be a “good cause” allowing the issuance of a concealed carry permit. Now, the Ninth Circuit decided to re-hear the case en banc. The Peruta case was consolidated with another case, Richards v. County of Yolo, which challenged Yolo County’s “good cause” policy. Our brief addressed issues in both cases. Read More

Bill Olson Presents Briefing on Same Sex Marriage Case

Michael Harless Constitutional Law

Today, as the U.S. Supreme Court was concluding oral argument in the four same sex marriage cases, Bill Olson briefed pastors and others on the National Emergency Coalition Conference Call sponsored by S.T.A.N.D. The briefing included discussion of the brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by our firm on April 3, 2015.

Link to conference call agenda
Link to Youtube Audio Clip

Independence Institute v. FEC — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Election Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Today we filed an amicus brief in support of the Independence Institute in their challenge to the Federal Election Commission’s regulations requiring the names and addresses of donors to nonprofits doing issue ads, which technically meet the criteria of Independent Expenditures, to be disclosed. Our brief explains the motivation of Congress for wanting this information.

Link to brief

Obergefell v. Hodges
Tanco v. Haslam
DeBoer v. Snyder
Bourke v. Beshear

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing efforts to have the Court force homosexual marriage on the States and the People.

The brief was filed on behalf of: Public Advocate of the U.S., Joyce Meyer Ministries, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Pastor Chuck Baldwin. Read More

Hedgepath v. Bentley — Chief Justice Roy Moore Response to Motion to Dismiss

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Litigation, U. S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama

Today, representing Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, our firm joined with Alabama local counsel Douglas McElvy in filing a Motion to Dismiss a suit filed against certain Alabama state officials seeking to penalize their opposition to same sex marriage. A Brief in Support of the Motion was also filed.

Herb Titus Speaking at CLE on Fourth Amendment

Michael Harless Appearances, Constitutional Law

Today, Herb Titus spoke at a Conference on Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation sponsored by the American Law Institute in San Francisco, California.

Herb’s topic was the reemergence of the private property principle in the Fourth Amendment, as reflected in two recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. In United States v. Jones and Jardines v. Florida, the Court ruled that the rights protected by the ban on unreasonable searches and seizures is foremost a protection against trespass against property interests in one’s person, house, paper and effect without regard for the property owner’s expectation of privacy, reasonable or otherwise. Read More

Los Angeles v. Patel — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Our firm filed yet another amicus curiae brief in our continuing effort to revitalize and extend the property basis of the Fourth Amendment. Here the case involved applying the Fourth Amendment to protect certain commercial records of hotels — guest registers.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Policy Analysis Center. Read More

Jackson v. City & County of San Francisco — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a challenge to San Francisco’s gun storage and ammunition ordinances.

This decision comes as the latest in a long string of decisions wherein the lower federal courts simply have refused to implement the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Heller. As our amicus brief explains, the lower federal courts are in a state of open rebellion in the lower courts against Heller. Our amicus brief documents the lawless behavior of the lower federal courts, and urges the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari. Read More

John Albert Dummett, Jr. & Edward C. Noonan v. Alejandro Padilla — Petition for Certiorari

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Election Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari seeking U.S. Supreme Court Review of two decisions of the California Courts which held that the California Secretary of State had no duty to determine whether a candidate for President of the United States is eligible to serve, if elected, before placing his name on the official state election ballot.

Our Petition explains that Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution vests in state legislatures the responsibility to determine how electors are selected and who is eligible to serve as president. In the early days of our Republic, as permitted by the U.S. Constitution, state legislatures in several states simply chose the electors directly without any popular vote. Now that electors are selected in every state by popular vote, state legislatures have the duty to ensure that voters are given a choice only between persons eligible to serve. Read More

King v. Burwell (Obamacare, Round III) — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition the Obamacare healthcare “exchanges” created by the federal government contrary to the plain language of the statute.

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) authorized tax credits only for taxpayers who purchase qualified health insurance through an “Exchange” which was established by a state. However, after ACA was enacted, state legislatures reflected popular opposition to Obamacare, and only 16 states created such Exchanges, despite being offered federal bribes to do so. Read More

Rodriguez v. United States — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging that the Fourth Amendment be applied to all searches and seizures of automobiles. We asked the Court to leave no latitude for judges to compromise away the constitutionally-protected civil liberties of Americans to serve the “needs” of law enforcement.

In Rodriguez, a police officer in Nebraska stopped a Mercury Mountaineer occupied by two men that allegedly swerved onto the shoulder and then back onto the road. He wrote them a warning, and returned their licenses and other paperwork, ending the traffic stop. He then asked if they minded if he ran his drug dog around the car. The driver objected, but instead of letting them go, the officer detained them again, ordering them not to move until backup arrived. The drug dog “alerted” on the vehicle and the police found drugs. Read More