Today we filed a Brief Amicus Curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Wisconsin Right to Life case. The brief asks the Court to reconsider its prior holdings in the McConnell and Buckley cases, and to strike down the Congressional ban on “electioneering communications.” (We had previously filed an amicus brief in support of Wisconsin Right to Life when the case came before the Court last year.)
Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. commissioned our firm to prepare an analysis of a 13-year-old Opinion of the Maryland Attorney General currently being used in the Maryland General Assembly to support SB 43, the so-called “assault weapons” ban. Our analysis — “The Right of the People of Maryland to Keep and Bear Arms: A Refutation of a 1994 Opinion of the Maryland Attorney General” — was presented to the Maryland General Assembly at a hearing on February 27, 2007. The views presented in our paper are consistent with the subsequently-issued opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia, issued March 9, 2007.
The Campaign Legal Center recently issued a memorandum concluding that pending Senate restrictions on grassroots lobbying in Senate Bill 1 were clearly constitutional under existing law. We could not disagree more. Working with Free Speech Coalition Legal Co-Counsel Mark Weinberg of Weinberg & Jacobs, LLP (http://wjlaw.com),we drafted the attached constitutional analysis to set the record straight.
On December 21, 2006, William K. Suter, Clerk of the Supreme Court, wrote to the Solicitor General informing the General that, although his office had waived a right to respond to the Michael New’s petition for certiorari, the Court has directed the Clerk to request that the Solicitor General file a response to the petition on or before January 22, 2007. (This deadline was subsequently was extended to February 21, 2007.) According to the rules of the Court, within ten days after the filing of the response, the Court will decide whether New’s petition for review will be granted or denied.
Today, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, seeking review by the United States Supreme Court of the dismissal of Michael G. New’s collateral attack on his January 1996 court-martial. (Former Army Specialist New was convicted of disobedience of an allegedly lawful order for failure to wear the United Nations uniform prescribed for his unit’s deployment as part of a U.N. commanded operation in Macedonia.)
Mr. Rudolph Stanko was convicted of possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(1), which prohibits any person from possessing a firearm or ammunition if that person has been convicted of certain types of crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. According to the statutory definition, the predicate crime cannot be any federal or state offense “pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices.”
On October 6, 2006, our attorneys had the opportunity to present oral argument in support of the Gun Owners Foundation amicus brief in Wyoming v. BATF. At stake in this litigation before the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming is the statutory and constitutional right of the state of Wyoming to conduct its own criminal background check for purchasers of firearms in Wyoming. The Gun Owners Foundation brief sided with the state in opposition to the BATF’s insistence that Wyoming’s background check did not meet BATF’s “national” standards.
Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief for Gun Owners Foundation in the U.S. District Court for the State of Wyoming on behalf of the State of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Attorney General, Patrick J. Crank.
The brief was submitted in opposition to a BATF ruling that a Wyomingconcealed carry permit based on a Montana criminal background check is not sufficient to allow an FFL dealer to transfer a firearm without obtaining a current federal National Instant Criminal Background Check. BATF objected to a provision in Wyoming law that permits an expungement of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence so that it cannot be reviewed by the Wyoming Attorney General in conducting a criminal background check before issuing a concealed carry permit, while allowing the record to be maintained for use for other purposes.
Today, the legal team for Michael New filed a petition for rehearing en banc of New’s collateral attack on his court-martial conviction for disobedience of a “lawful” order. In his petition, New documents the unmistakable fact that the three-judge panel decision — affirming the district court’s dismissal of his complaint that he was denied due process of law at his court-martial — departed completely from the standard of review established in the District of Columbia Circuit for nearly 40 years.
On March 17, 2006, we filed a supplemental reply brief bringing to the attention of the Idaho Court of Appeals the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in Gonzales v. UDV, in which Chief Justice John Roberts — writing for a unanimous court — construed the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to provide very favorable protection to individual liberty of religious belief and practice. In this brief we urged the Idaho Court of Appeals to give this same favorable interpretation to the Idaho Religious Freedom Restoration Act and reverse the trial court’s decision denying Mr. Lewis’s conscientious objection to having to disclose to the Idaho authorities the SSN that had been assigned to him in his youth and that he had later, because of religious conviction, disassociated himself therefrom.
On February 16 at 9:30AM, Herb Titus is scheduled for oral argument on behalf of Michael New before Circuit Judges Randolph and Garland and Senior Judge Williams, urging the appellate panel to reverse U.S. District Judge Friedman’s order dismissing Mr. New’s claim that he was unconstitutionally convicted of disobedience of a lawful order. Central to Mr. New’s constitutional claims is the contention that he was deprived of his liberty without due process of law by a court-martial proceeding (a) in which the prosecution was relieved of its statutory duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the order to wear the U.N. uniform was a “lawful” order and (b) in which the defendant was denied any opportunity to show that the order violated both his statutory and constitutional rights on the ground that his claims raised “political questions” outside the jurisdiction of the court-martial. William J. Olson and John S. Miles of the firm and Henry L. Hamilton are with Mr. Titus on the briefs.
A legal analysis of Birthright Citizenship, written by Bill Olson, Herb Titus and Alan Woll, was re-released by U.S. Border Control today. The paper, “Children Born in the United States to Aliens Should Not, by Constitutional Right, Be U.S. Citizens” was originally published in January 2001,and then updated in March 2003. The House of Representatives is expected to be considering legislation on this topic in the near future.
On November 23, 2005, Michael New’s legal team filed a hard-hitting reply brief to the United States government’s continuing attempt to avoid New’s claim that his 1996 court-martial conviction for disobedience of a “lawful” order was unconstitutional. For over 10 years now, the government has sought to dismiss New’s claim that a 1995 order to wear a U.N. uniform and submit to the operational control of a foreign military officer was a political question. In his reply brief, New argues convincingly that the cases upon which the government has relied are totally irrelevant, having to do with orders issued to American soliders to serve under American, not foreign, command.
Today we filed an Amicus Brief for Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC. The brief asks the Supreme Court to overturn a decision of a Special Three Judge District Court in the District of Columbia. The brief argues that the lower court misread the Supreme Court’s decision in McConnell v. FEC resolving a “facial” challenge to the constitutionality of the “electioneering communications” provisions of the McCain-Feingold law (the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002) to preclude future “as applied” challenges. The brief emphasizes that the judicial power to decide constitutional questions is limited to the facts as presented in an individual case or controversy and that no judicial ruling may constitutionally be imposed upon a person or entity not a party to the case. At stake, then, in this case is the reach of judicial power and the due process right of every person to have his day in court.
We filed an Amicus Brief for the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund in support of United Seniors Association’s petition for rehearing of the decision to fine them over $500,000 for using the words “Social Security” on carrier envelopes. The FSDEF brief submits that the panel misapplied the deferential agency review standard of Chevron and failed to apply the relevant Due Process standards governing statutory vagueness.
We filed, on behalf of Michael New, an Initial Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This brief presents for decision whether the district court improperly dismissed — for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted — each of the four counts of New’s Second Amended Complaint, collaterally attacking his January 25, 1996 court-martial conviction and bad conduct discharge for having violated an allegedly lawful order contrary to Article 92(2) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Today we filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of :
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund,
Joyce Meyer Ministries,
Committee to Protect the Family Foundation,
Lincoln Institute for Research and Education,
American Heritage Party,
Public Advocate of the United States,
Radio Liberty, and
Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Inc.
in the pending Ten Commandments case, McCreary County, Kentucky v.ACLU of Kentucky.
Today we filed our Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint. By their motion to dismiss, Defendants seek to block the door to the federal courthouse to a soldier court-martialed for challenging an illegal and unconstitutional order.
Today we filed our appellant’s brief in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the right of an anonymous plaintiff to file suit without seeking leave of court or providing any compelling rational for the waiver under the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Today we filed the Answer of Defendants, Barrow County, Georgia; and, Walter E. Elder, in His Official Capacity as Chairman of the Barrow County Board of Commissioners and in His Individual Capacity.
Our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Citizens United Foundation in this Pledge of Allegiance case. This amicus brief addresses the vital threshold issue of standing.
Our firm has been retained to represent Barrow County Georgia and the Chairman of its Board of Commissioners, in a case challenging their right to allow a citizen to display the Ten Commandments in a county building.
Today the Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint and to Strike Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction as well as a supporting Memorandum of Law. We asked the court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s complaint for failing to seek leave of court to proceed with an anonymous plaintiff, and asked the court to deny the Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
Our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Public Advocate of the United States, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Help and Caring Ministries, Inc., and Citizens United Foundation in support of the State of Texas urging the Court to uphold the the Texas Homosexual Conduct Statute.
Petitioners challenging the Texas law ask the Court, in effect, to amend the U.S. Constitution to create a new constitutional right for adults to engage in consentual sodomy. Our brief defends principles of federalism, and explains how petitioners’ arguments were misleading and flawed, and their position has no support in either the text of the 14th Amendment, or prior decisions of the Supreme Court.
Today we filed an amicus brief for the Center for Government Integrity, a project of Citizens United Foundation, in support of Defendant Richard B. Cheney’s Motion to Dismiss or For Summary Judgement with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.