Comments filed with U.S. Citizenship & immigration Services Opposing New Refugee Application

Michael Harless Administrative Law

Today, our firm filed comments with the division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responsible for Refugee matters, opposing changes in the form used to seek refugee status. If changed as proposed, the form will fail to obtain from applicants the information needed for the government to make a proper determination as to whether a person claiming refugee status actually qualifies as a refugee under federal law.

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Comments to FDA on Regulatory Status of Vinpocetine

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

Today our firm filed comments with the FDA in response to a request for comment on its “tentative conclusion” that the ingredient vinpocetine does not meet the definition of a “dietary supplement.” Our comments explained that vinpocetine fits within the definition of “dietary supplement” as a “constituent of a botanical.” Then we analyzed the four statutory requirements for removal of a dietary supplement from the market, and in this case, at least two of these requirements have not been met. Finally, we addressed the ways in which vinpocetine has been beneficial to Americans with a wide variety of health problems, including symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

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Graham v. United States

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for certiorari in a case involving a Fourth Amendment violation where a person’s whereabouts were tracked for months by seizing his cell site location information. We argued against the Supreme Court’s “third-party doctrine,” which holds that a person does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” if he voluntarily gives information to third parties. Further, the brief relied on the Court’s recently reinvigorated property rights basis of the Fourth Amendment, urging the Court to consider a person’s cell phone data and location as his property even though not a physical object.

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Comments filed with FDA to Defend Compounding Pharmacists

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law

An FDA Advisory Committee is considering imposing new and unnecessary limitations on what Compounding Pharmacists may use to create products that are needed by many people, especially seniors.  Remarkably, the FDA Advisory Committee is reported to have only one member who has experience with Compounding.  We filed comments for The Senior Citizens League and the Center for Medical Freedom with the FDA opposing these arbitrary limitations.

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GOA/GOF Comments to ATF on Proposed Changes to Form 7

Michael Harless Firearms Law

Today, our firm filed comments with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”) in response to the ATF’s proposal to combine the federal application to be a firearms dealer (“Form 7”) with the application to be a Collector of Curios and Relics.  As our comments pointed out, ATF’s proposed new combined form is an attempt to combine apples and oranges.  Dealers (businesses) are nothing like collectors (private persons).  The proposed form is complicated and unclear as to which sections apply to which license.  Moreover, the proposed form eliminates current language which is helpful to a person knowing whether or not he needs to apply for a license.  Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation.

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FSC/FSDEF Comments Urging IRS to Protect Nonprofit Donor Lists

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Nonprofit Law

On behalf of the Free Speech Coalition and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, we submitted comments to the IRS asking it to protect the confidentiality the donor lists of nonprofit organizations.  The IRS had invited comments on its Publication 1075 relating to security guidelines for government agencies in possession of confidential tax
information.

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USJF Comments opposing Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting

Michael Harless Administrative Law

There is an effort underway by elements in the federal and state judiciary and leftist lawyers and lawyer groups to increase political controls over lawyers — on whom the American people rely on to protect their interests.  Some states are trying to force lawyers to devote free legal services to favored classes of persons.   Historically, this proposal has been a cover for the misuse of law reform, class actions, emboldening the courts to legislate social policy.  And even when it extends legal services to the poor, it frequently does so at the expense of the middle class.

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Article: “Manuel v. Joliet: Blocking the Courthouse Door to Victims of Police Misconduct”

Michael Harless Publications

This morning, the American Thinker published Jeremiah Morgan’s article about the amicus brief we filed in Manuel v. City of Joliet.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this case on Wednesday, October 5.  The article explains why victims of police misconduct should be able to bring a Fourth Amendment based suit when police fabricate evidence to obtain an indictment.

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Book: ‘Defining Drugs: How Government Became the Arbiter of Pharmaceutical Fact”

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Health Law, Publications

Bill Olson was honored to write the Foreword for the re-issuance of what may prove to be the most important book ever written questioning the authority of the federal government over the sale and use of pharmaceuticals.  Professor of Pharmacy Richard Henry Parrish II originally wrote his book, “Defining Drugs:  How Government Became the Arbiter of Pharmaceutical Fact” in 2003. Now issued in paperback with a new Introduction and new Foreword, Professor Parrish has charted the growing evidence of corruption in the FDA and FTC, and those agencies’ lawless assertion of power over all aspects of all substances and devices in any way related to healthcare.  This book is even more important now than when first written.

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FEC Conciliation Agreement Modified

Michael Harless Election Law

We were pleased to have persuaded the FEC to act unanimously to modify a Conciliation Agreement entered into in 2005.  The reason was that the state of election law had changed, based on recent court rulings, which then were followed by changes in Commission regulations.

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Legal Policy Paper: The Constitutional Case for an Interstate Border Compact

Michael Harless Publications

Today, we authored a paper entitled “The Constitutional Case for an Interstate Border Compact” for the United States Justice Foundation.  Even though President Obama is hostile to national immigration law, the states could step in and take the lead.  One way that they could assume this responsibility is entering into an “interstate border compact” as authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

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Grace v. District of Columbia

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Today, we filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in support of a challenge to the D.C. Concealed Carry statute which was brought by Matthew Grace and others.  Our brief argues that the District of Columbia Council based its argument on the notion of hidden exceptions to the Bill of Rights, and a flawed understanding of the difference between the restricted nature of firearms rights in England versus the unrestricted nature of firearms rights in the Colonies.  Our brief also argues that it is illegitimate for the Court to engage in judicial balancing tests of any type, as they were barred by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller.  Lastly, we argued that the government does not have the authority to make predictive judgments as to who may violate the law and restrict liberties to prevent crimes that it fears may someday occur.

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Article: “‘PC’ Politics Drove ABA’s Proposed Rules Change — A push for new classes of “harassment” in professional ethics reflects hubris and elitism”

Michael Harless Publications

We were grateful that the National Law Journal published the fourth article in the U.S. Justice Foundation’s series on the proposed ABA Ethics Changes.  This Op Ed was the lead in the National Law Journals email to subscribers sent out on August 8, 2016.

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Citizens United v. State Department — CU Opposition to State’s Motion for 27 Month Delay

Michael Harless FOIA Law

In one of the FOIA cases we have filed for Citizens United seeking emails relating to Hillary Clinton’s time at the U.S. Department of State, today we filed an Opposition to State’s last minute effort to avoid compliance with the court-ordered schedule to produce documents that it itself had earlier proposed.  The State Department now wants the Court to allow it a remarkable 27 additional months to provide the requested documents.  Our proposed form of order is also attached.

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