Shaun McCutcheon v. FEC Amicus Brief for Downsize DC Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

Incumbent Congressmen must not be allowed to make it extremely difficult to challenge them for re-election, as they have done since 1971 by use of campaign finance laws.

Today we filed an amicus brief on behalf of Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Free Speech Coalition, Inc., Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., English First, English First Foundation, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Western Center for Journalism, Policy Analysis Center, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Libertarian National Committee, Inc. and Constitution Party National Committee in Support of Appellants. Read More

United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives Amicus Brief on Jurisdiction and Standing Questions for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief on jurisdiction and standing questions in the case of United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Supreme Court in support of resp. Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Public Advocate of the U.S., Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, English First, English First Foundation., Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Protect Marriage Maryland PAC, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Senator Dick Black. Read More

Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. Amicus Brief for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Public Advocate of the United States, Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, English First, and Protect Marriage Maryland PAC. Read More

United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives Amicus Brief for Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Supreme Court in support of resp. Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Public Advocate of the U.S., Declaration Alliance, Western Center for Journalism, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, English First, Protect Marriage Maryland PAC, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Senator Dick Black. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States — Petition for Certiorari

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the case of Michael G. New v. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court.

The petition urges the Supreme Court to grant the petition for the following reasons. First, the perfunctory disposition of petitioner’s coram nobis petition by the military courts conflicts with United States v. Denedo(Denedo II). Further, subject matter jurisdiction of this writ under 28 U.S.C. Section 1259(3) is an important federal question that has not been, but should be, decided by the Supreme Court. Finally, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces wrongfully denied New coram nobis relief from a fundamentally flawed court-martial by its failure to address the government’s misapplication of the Supreme Court’s political question doctrine. Read More

Shelby County, Alabama v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., et al., Amicus Brief for Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Shelby County, Alabamav. Eric H. Holder, Jr., et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner.

Our amicus brief argues that Section 5 of The Voting Rights Act (“VRA”) of 1965, as amended in 2006, exceeds the powers vested in Congress by either the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment. Further, Sections 4(b) and 5 of the VRA of 1965, as amended in 2006, put Alabama on an unequal footing, in violation of the statute admitting Alabama to the union, and the Tenth Amendment. Read More

Christopher Hedges v. Barack Obama, et al. Amicus Brief for U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Christopher Hedges v.Barack Obama, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in support of appellees and affirmance. This lawsuit challenges the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) of 2012’s illegal detention provision. Our firm also filed an amicus brief earlier in this case with the district court. Read More

William P. Danielczyk, Jr., et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for Citizens United, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of William P. Danielczyk, Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

Our brief argues that the petition should be granted because the court below failed to apply the categorical First Amendment right of corporate entities to engage in political speech established by the U.S. Constitution and reaffirmed in Citizens United v. FEC. Further, the questions presented should be extended to include whether campaign finance restrictions on speech and press should ever be permitted based on overriding governmental interests. Finally, our brief argues that the various standards of review which enable the government to override the speech and press guarantees of the First Amendment, are illegitimate encroachments upon the sovereign power of the people to constitute and, when necessary reconstitute their government. Our brief urges the Supreme Court that “it is time to cut completely the Gordian Knot by which constitutional rights have been sacrificed based on atextual judicial balancing tests.” Read More

James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, et al. v. Amnesty International USA, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, et al. v. Amnesty International USA, et al.in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners Foundation (http://www.gunowners.com/)
Gun Owners of America, Inc. (www.gunowners.org
U.S. Justice Foundation (https://usjf.net/)
Downsize DC Foundation (http://www.downsizedcfoundation.org/)
DownsizeDC.org (http://www.downsizedc.org/)
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (http://www.cldef.org/) 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

Young America’s Foundation v. Alice M. Wood Amicus Brief for Citizens United, et al. in the Appellate Court of Illinois Second District

Michael Harless Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, Constitutional Law, Nonprofit Law

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Young America’s Foundation v. Alice M. Wood in the Appellate Court of Illinois Second District in support of appellant.

Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Free Speech Coalition, Inc., U.S. Justice Foundation and 51 other amici curiae.

Link to brief

Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. Amicus Brief for Public Advocate of the United States, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

Brought as a challenge to California Proposition 8, this case concerns whether homosexuals desiring the benefits of marriage have a constitutional right to compel that marriage be redefined to accommodate their sexual preferences. Our amicus brief urges that the petition for a writ of certiorari be granted to correct the badly flawed opinions below, and to reconsider the Supreme Court’s decision in Romer. Read More

Personhood Oklahoma v. Brittany Mays Barber, et al. Amicus Brief for Joyce Meyer Ministries, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Personhood Oklahoma v. Brittany Mays Barber, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

By striking the proposed initiative amending the Oklahoma constitution by defining “person” as it appears in the state constitution, the court below misused Planned Parenthood v. Casey to deprive the people of Oklahoma of a power reserved them by the Tenth Amendment. Our amicus brief argues that the petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted because the petition presents a question of momentous significance to the powers reserved by the Tenth Amendment to the people. The definition of “person” in the proposed amendment is not repugnant to any provision in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore, the initiative is not outside the powers of the people reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment. Read More

Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in support of plaintiffs-appellees and affirmance.

This case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of the State of Maryland’s handgun permit statute and regulatory scheme. Maryland requires an applicant for a license to carry a handgun to demonstrate that he has “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun. Plaintiff Woollard previously had been granted a handgun carry permit. Unable to produce evidence of a current threat, Woollard’s request for a renewal of the permit was denied. Woollard and an association of gun owners, Second Amendment Foundation, challenged the Maryland license requirement, arguing that the “good and substantial reason” requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.” Read More

Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al. Amicus Brief for Capitol Hill Prayer Alert Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al. in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari.

Our amicus brief argues that the petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted, but not limited to petitioner’s two questions, both of which rest upon the assumption that the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause imposes an “equal protection” limit on the exercise of Congress’s Taxing and Spending Powers. Our amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to add to the questions to be addressed whether section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) violates the Fifth Amendment Due Process guarantee as it is written, not as it has been construed by the Supreme Court. 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

Center for Individual Freedom, et al. v. Chris Van Hollen, et al. Amicus Brief for Free Speech Coalition, Inc., et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Center for Individual Freedom, et al. v. Chris Van Hollen, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of appellants and reversal.

Our brief argues that the BCRA section 201 provision requiring disclosure of the names and addresses of all contributors who contributed an aggregate of $1,000 or more is subject to the rule of statutory construction to avoid serious constitutional problems. The Supreme Court did not address or resolve in Citizens United the constitutionality of whether the disclosure requirement applied to any donor who gave money generally to the publisher of an electioneering communication without direction as to how the funds should be used. Forced disclosures are subject to “exacting scrutiny” requiring proof of a strong governmental interest in the prevention of corruption or the appearance of corruption. The government interest in a better informed public, standing by itself, is not sufficient to override the well-established anonymity principle undergirding the freedoms of speech and the press. To avoid compromising that principle, BCRA’s disclosure provision should be construed to require proof that the “contributor who contributed” did so with the specific purpose of supporting an electioneering communication. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Litigation

The Michael New case is back.

On May 16, 2012, we filed a Petition for a Writ of Coram Nobis based on the Army’s withholding of exculpatory evidence contained in two classified Executive Orders, access to which was unlawfully denied to Mr. New at his 1995 court-martial, at which he was charged and convicted of disobeying a lawful order for refusing to wear the U.N. uniform to serve in a U.N. peace operation in Macedonia. Read More

Christopher Hedges v. Barack Obama, et al. Amicus Brief for Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Christopher Hedges v.Barack Obama, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in support of plaintiffs. This lawsuit challenges the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012’s illegal detention provision. Anotice of motion for leave to file amicus curiae brief and supporting documents were filed with the amicus brief. Read More

Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. Additional Pleadings Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California

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

Today our firm joined with other co-counsel to file the following additional pleadings in the case of Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling,et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of plaintiff Sergeant Gary A. Stein:

Plaintiff’s Renewed Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Why Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue Read More

Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California

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

Today our firm joined with other co-counsel to file the following documents in the case of Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of plaintiff Sergeant Gary A. Stein:

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Plaintiff Stein’s Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue Read More

State of Arizona, et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of State of Arizona et al.v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our amicus brief argues that S.B. 1070 is a constitutional exercise of Arizona’s inherent power of self-preservation, the purpose of which is “attrition” of the numbers of illegal aliens living in Arizona. As an exercise of the State’s concurrent power over immigration, Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is not preempted by federal law. Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is an exercise of its constitutional power to engage in war against an actual invasion. The current illegal immigration into Arizona constitutes an “actual invasion,” and Arizona’s “policy of attrition by enforcement” is a proper exercise of its express power to defend against an actual invasion. Instead of performing its constitutional duty to protect Arizona against invasion, the federal government has undermined the State, placing upon it unfunded mandates that attract illegal aliens into the State, and bestowing benefits upon illegal aliens for political reasons. Read More

Louisiana v. Bryson, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Louisiana v. John Bryson in the United States Supreme Court in support of plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 Census.

The United States Census Bureau maintains that it “is required by the U.S. Constitution to count everyone living in this country, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.” Our amicus brief argues that the Census Bureau claim is demonstrably untrue. Read More

Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. This petition presents to the Supreme Court a clash between a federal law mandating the individual purchase of its approved healthcare insurance — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) — and a state law securing to state residents the freedom to choose whether or not to purchase such insurance — the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (“VHCFA”). Read More

United States v. Antoine Jones Amicus Brief for Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of United States v.Antoine Jones in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondent, Antoine Jones. Our amicus brief argues that the government’s extreme position that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to GPS surveillance on public roadways is insupportable.

The government’s extreme view that the Fourth Amendment is completely irrelevant is made possible only by the Supreme Court’s mistaken jurisprudence that the Fourth Amendment only applies to situations wherein persons have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The “expectation of privacy” test for searches and seizures arose without support in the text or historical context of the Fourth Amendment, and has proven wholly inadequate to protect the American people from their government. Had the Supreme Court previously adhered to the original text of the Fourth Amendment, rather than substituting their own language, the right of the people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects” would have preserved their privacy by a permanent wall of the unalienable right of private property. Read More