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

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

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

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

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

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

Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al. (Obamacare), Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al.(Obamacare) in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents (minimum coverage provision). The brief asked the Court to overturn two of its most extreme, and controversial, Commerce Clause holdings:

“The Government believes that this law is fully justified under this Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence, particularly relying on United States v. Darby and Wickard v. Filburn. These revolutionary Supreme Court decisions cast aside settled constitutional doctrine for reasons of political expediency in the wake of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s threat to pack the Court. The time has come that they should be re-examined and overturned, lest Congress conclude that it can compel whatever behavior it believes would make us a more healthy People — leading us to a totalitarian state where everything not prohibited is mandated.” 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

State of Arizona et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief for U.S. Border Control and English First 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 State of Arizona et al.v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ petition for a writ of certiorari. Our brief argues that it is the preeminent duty of the Supreme Court to preserve the balance between the federal and state governments struck by the United States Constitution.

While Article VI of the Constitution provides that constitutional federal law is the supreme law of the land, it is incumbent upon the courts to remember that the powers of Congress are few and definite, while the powers of the State are many and indefinite. Indeed, it is even more critical to recall that the governments of the original 13 states preceded the government of the United States both in time and in right. If this truth is forgotten, the Supremacy Clause will be misused, subordinating the several states to the national government when the Constitution is replete with provisions designed to preserve the States as sovereign political communities with reserved powers to protect and to preserve themselves as free and independent states. Read More

United States v. Antoine Jones Amicus Brief 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. Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, U.S. Justice Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Inc., Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., DownsizeDC.org, Downsize DC Foundation, and The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education. Read More

Daniel Chapter One v. Federal Trade Commission, Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Daniel Chapter One, et al. v. Federal Trade Commission in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ petition for writ of certiorari. Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of U.S. Justice Foundation (www.usjf.net) and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.cldef.org).

Our brief argues that the Court of Appeals erroneously allowed the FTC to assert jurisdiction over Daniel Chapter One and that requiring Daniel Chapter One to substantiate its product claims by “controlled clinical studies” is outside FTC’s statutory authority. Further our brief argues that no government has authority to dictate the health care choices of competent individuals. Lastly, parts of the FTC’s order substantially burden Daniel Chapter One’s exercise of religion in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and contravene the First Amendment principle of speaker autonomy. Read More

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett, Amicus Brief for Gun Owners of America, et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Election Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners.

Our brief argues that the Arizona system of public financing of campaigns for election to public office, the Arizona Citizens Clean Election Act, is unconstitutional to its core. Contrary to the analysis of the lower court, the public financing system approved in Buckley v. Valeo does not govern this case as Buckley permits only voluntarily-funded public financing of elections, while a ten percent surcharge on civil penalties and criminal fines unconstitutionally funds the Arizona public financing system. Further, the Arizona act unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ privileges and immunities in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Our brief further argues that the Buckley rationale for public financing of election campaigns is fundamentally flawed and that the Arizona public financing scheme is antithetical to First Amendment principles. Read More

Skoien v. U.S., Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation et al. in the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners of California, Inc., Virginia Citizens Defense League, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund in the case of Steven Skoien v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner Skoien.

Our brief takes a quite different approach from that taken by other firearms organizations. For example, the attached chart contrasts the positions taken in our brief with the positions taken by the NRA. Read More

Doe v. Reed U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief for Free Speech Defense and Education Fund and Free Speech Coalition

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief for the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, the Free Speech Coalition, and 28 other nonprofit and for profit organizations in the case of Doe v. Reed, in the United States Supreme Court.

The brief argues that, contrary to what the state of Washington claims,freedom of speech principles do indeed apply to the Washington state referendum petition process. Moreover, anonymity for referendum petition signers in that state legislative process is protected from state abridgment by the14th amendment as an individual privilege and immunity of United States citizenship secured under the republican form of government guarantee of Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution. Read More

Otis McDonald v. City of Chicago Amicus Brief in Support of Petitioners U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On November 23, 2009, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ challenge to an ordinance banning handguns in Chicago. The amicus brief argues that the Chicago handgun ban unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ right to keep and bear arms, a privilege or immunity belonging to them as United States citizens protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. It also explains that no wholesale change in the Supreme Court’s Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence is required to rule that the Chicago ordinance unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ right to keep and bear arms. Further, it asserts that incorporation of the right to keep and bear arms into the Due Process Clause would result in weak and potentially transitory protection of that right. Read More

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Amicus Brief in Support of Appellant U.S. Supreme Court

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

Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of appellant Citizens United on a supplemental question. The amicus brief urges that Citizens United’s challenge to federal regulation of electioneering communications be sustained, and the decisions in Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce andMcConnell v. FEC, as applied to BCRA section 203, be overruled since they endorse an erroneous view of the freedom of speech that conflicts with Citizens United’s freedom of the press. Contrary to the assumptions in Austin and McConnell, the freedom of the press does not confer a special privilege upon the institutional press, but is enjoyed by all the people. Austin’s and McConnell’s narrow reading of the press freedom is not only contrary to history, but at odds with new realities of journalism. Read More

McDonald v. City of Chicago NRA v. City of Chicago Amicus Brief in Support of Petitions for a Writ of Certiorari U.S. Supreme Court

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

Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc. and Gun Owners Foundation in support of petitioners’ request for a writ of certiorari. These cases involve challenges to City of Chicago and Village of Oak Park bans on handguns. At issue is whether the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms against the States. The amicus brief urges that the petitions present an important question of federal law that has not been, but should be, settled by the Supreme Court. It also argues that the Chicago and Oak Park handgun bans abridge one of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States — the right to keep and bear arms — in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Read More