Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission

Michael Harless Election Law, U. S. District Court, District of Columbia

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in support of The Independence Institute, in its challenge to certain federal election law and Federal Election Commission regulations governing electioneering communications.  Under these regulations, Section 501(c)(3) organizations must report on their broadcast issue ads which mention the name of incumbent Congressmen.  The required reports include certain information on donors to the nonprofit organizations.  Our brief explains why these laws and regulations violate First Amendment principles of anonymity long recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. Read More

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

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Harris
Thomas More Law Center v. Harris

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

Today we filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit for the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, the Free Speech Coalition and other nonprofits attacking a new interpretation of law by the the California Attorney General.  Under this new interpretation, as a per-condition to soliciting contributions in California, each charity must provide provide the Attorney General with its IRS Form 990 Schedule B which identifies the charity’s largest donors Read More

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

“Journalist Shield Laws: A Constitutional Conundrum” by Bill Olson, Herb Titus, and Robert Olson

Michael Harless Publications

Today, the American Thinker published our article entitled “Journalist Shield Laws: A Constitutional Conundrum.” The article was prepared at the request of the United States Justice Foundation in connection with a Symposium it is co-sponsoring on the First Amendment which is taking place later today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. At the Symposium, more than a dozen journalists will assemble, each of whom at one point in his career has chosen to spend time in jail rather than divulge the identify of a source. Read More

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

Jeremiah Morgan Testifies Before the Federal Election Commission

Michael Harless Administrative Law, Appearances, Election Law

Today, on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc., the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., and U.S. Justice Foundation Jeremiah Morgan of our firm testified before the Federal Election Commission at its Hearings on the McCutcheon v. FEC Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (His testimony appears at 5:19:51 of the video.)

Link to video