Patriotic Veterans v. Curtis Hill, Attorney General of Indiana

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

Today we co-counseled the filing of a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Patriotic Veterans, a nonprofit organization based in Illinois.  This Petition brings to the High Court a First Amendment challenge to an Indiana law barring most nonprofit organizations from using automated dialing equipment to conduct issue advocacy and grassroots lobbying.  Our Petition explains that the First Amendment, as reaffirmed by a long line of Supreme Court decisions, vests in each homeowner the right to decide whether to receive a visitor at a door, and that same principle applies to receiving a message delivered by telephone.  State legislators are often annoyed when constituents learn what bills are pending, and what is going on behind closed doors in the legislature.  They are particularly annoyed when constituents besiege them with messages telling them how they want them to vote.  However, state legislators have no right to enact laws to shut down issue advocacy and grassroots lobbying, intruding themselves between nonprofit organizations like Patriotic Veterans and the people of Indiana.

IRAP v. Trump

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

Today, our firm filed its third brief in support of President Trump’s effort to impose immigration controls.  Our brief supported President Trump’s effort to secure our borders against entry by those coming from select countries where their background cannot be checked.  This brief was filed in the Fourth Circuit — with respect to the second Trump Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017. Read More

Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a deeply flawed decision of the Virginia Supreme Court involving the Fourth Amendment.  The cased involved different ways that courts evaluate the constitutionality of searches and seizures.  The search in this case was of a motorcycle under a tarp located what is known as the “curtilage” of a home, or the area immediately surrounding it.  Under the deeply flawed rule the Virginia Supreme Court applied, the Fourth Amendment has no bearing at all whenever an automobile or anything that resembles an automobile is being searched, irrespective of where the automobile is located. Read More

Important Executive Orders

Michael Harless Executive Orders

Regan Executive Order 12333 — United States Intelligence activities
December 4, 1981
Obama (Clapper and Lynch) expansion of distribution
January 3, 2017
CIA Statement on Release of the CIA’s Updated EO 12333 Procedures
January 18, 2017
Trump Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States
January 27, 2017
Trump Executive Order: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
January 30, 2017
Trump Executive Order: Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda
February 24, 2017
Trump Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States
March 6, 2017

Interesting Government Documents

Headquarters, U.S. Army “Internment and Resettlement Operations (FM 3-39.40)”
February 2010
Draw your own conclusions about this document.
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba (TS)
March 13 1962
False Flag plan authored by General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (1960-1962)
CIA Inspector General Lyman B. Kirkpatrick’s Report on the Bay of Pigs Invasion
February 16 1962
Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr. (1916-1995) was a courageous public servant who, as the Inspector General of the CIA, was tasked with reviewing how the April 1961 Bay of Pigs disaster occurred. Rather than provide a report which covered mistakes made by the Agency’s leadership, he issued a truthful report about the CIA blunders, sacrificing his career in the process. It was my honor to take every course Professor Kirkpatrick offered during my four years at Brown University.

Hamilton v. Pallozzi

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

Today, we filed our second amicus brief in this case, in support of a petition for rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  We urged the Fourth Circuit to rehear the case, because the panel decision ignored the requirements of the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause.  The issue involved a Maryland resident’s right to purchase and possess firearms despite the judicial removal of disability to own firearms by a Virginia court after a Virginia conviction.

Welch v. Brown

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of a petition for writ of certiorari, asking the Court to review a California ban on mental health providers pro-hetrosexual therapies to minors.  Interestingly, the California law, SB 1172, does not ban pro-homosexual therapies.  We reject the notion that the Free Exercise Clause was written to give special rights to religious people.  We explain that SB 1172 violates the Free Exercise Clause, which operates as a jurisdictional barrier to the power of States, barring California’s encroachment upon matters of opinion outside its civil jurisdiction.  We also demonstrated that the State’s inherent police power does not permit it to conditioning licensing in order to suppress politically correct and morally unpopular medical treatments under the guise of protecting minors.

Peruta v. California

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

Today we filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petition for certiorari filed in the Peruta challenge to California concealed carry laws.  Our brief, however, urged the Supreme Court to grant certiorari to review a broader issue than that sought by the petitioners, and based on a more robust understanding of the protections afforded by Second Amendment than that urged by petitioners. Read More

Washington v. Trump

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

Today we filed a brief in support of rehearing by the Ninth Circuit en banc, of the Ninth Circuit’s motions panel denial of the Trump Administration’s motion for a stay of the Temporary Restraining Order issued by a federal district judge in Washington State enjoining operation of the President’s Executive Order on immigration and refugees. Read More

USJF Legal Policy Paper: The Dangerous Proposal for an Article V Constitutional Convention

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Publications

Today, Bill Olson and Herb Titus co-authored a Legal Policy Paper for the United States Justice Foundation on the serious dangers associated with the calling of an Article V Constitutional Convention. The paper addressed two false premises underlying the proposal: 1. The problem of big government is found in the text of the U.S. Constitution, which can be corrected by changing the words of the document. 2. The only remedy to the problem of an out-of-control federal government is changing the Constitutional text. Additionally, our paper addressed the two false assurances being offered by those demanding that state legislatures put at risk all of our constitutional protections: 1. There is no danger of a Runaway Convention. 2. A small minority of the State Legislatures can stop bad proposals from being ratified.

State of Washington v. Donald J. Trump

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

Today we filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in support of a motion to stay a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, which prohibited enforcement of several sections of President Trump’s recent Executive Order temporarily suspending entry of certain immigrants and refugees into the United States.

Valpak Comments on the U.S. Postal Service FY 2016 Annual Compliance Report

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Postal Law

Today we filed comments on behalf of Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc. and Valpak Franchise Association with the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”).  These comments related to the Postal Service’s Annual Compliance Report, filed each year.  After considering those comments, the PRC issues its Annual Compliance Determination, which is expected by the end of March 2017. Read More

Citizens United v. Schneiderman

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

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opposing efforts by the Attorney General of New York from implementing new procedures requiring every nonprofit organization which solicits funds in that state to provide him with the names, addresses, and donation amounts of the organization’s largest donors.  Although the Attorney General of New York insists that the information would be kept by him and not shared with the public, the First Amendment protects Americans from divulging their anonymous political activities to politicians — especially highly political politicians like state attorney generals — who know how to use their discretionary power to chill the political activities of wealthy individuals. Read More

Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission

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

Today we filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeal filed by the Independent Institute challenging the disclosure requirements imposed by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (“BCRA”) as applied to genuine issue ads.  BCRA compels the disclosure of donors to such ads over $1,000, with substantial civil and criminal penalties for failure to report this information publicly. Read More

Lund v. Rowan County

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

Today we filed a brief in support of the practice by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners to begin sessions with prayer. Predictably, the plaintiffs are deeply offended to hear the name of God mentioned, but their subjective feelings does not cause the public prayer by government officials to be transformed into a prohibited “establishment” of religion.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore v. Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission

Michael Harless Alabama Supreme Court, Constitutional Law

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed Roy S. Moore, the elected Chief Justice of the State of Alabama, based on spurious grounds related to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision in favor of same sex marriage.  Today, we filed a brief in support of the Chief Justice’s appeal of that decision to the Alabama Supreme Court. Read More