Hollis v. Lynch — Amicus Brief

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

Today, our firm filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the federal machine gun ban, ironically passed as part of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act.

Under the Gun Control Act (“GCA”), “persons” are generally prohibited from possessing machineguns. A “person” is defined to include entities such a corporation and partnership – but the definition does not include a trust. Moreover, in 2014, ATF took the position that “unincorporated trusts are not ‘persons’ under the GCA.” Based on that understanding that trusts are not persons, the Jay Aubrey Isaac Hollis Revocable Living Trust applied to the ATF for approval to manufacture and register an M-16 machinegun. When ATF eventually revoked the application, the Trust sued, but the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the case. Read More

Obergefell v. Hodges
Tanco v. Haslam
DeBoer v. Snyder
Bourke v. Beshear

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing efforts to have the Court force homosexual marriage on the States and the People.

The brief was filed on behalf of: Public Advocate of the U.S., Joyce Meyer Ministries, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Pastor Chuck Baldwin. Read More

John Albert Dummett, Jr. & Edward C. Noonan v. Alejandro Padilla — Petition for Certiorari

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

Today our firm filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari seeking U.S. Supreme Court Review of two decisions of the California Courts which held that the California Secretary of State had no duty to determine whether a candidate for President of the United States is eligible to serve, if elected, before placing his name on the official state election ballot.

Our Petition explains that Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution vests in state legislatures the responsibility to determine how electors are selected and who is eligible to serve as president. In the early days of our Republic, as permitted by the U.S. Constitution, state legislatures in several states simply chose the electors directly without any popular vote. Now that electors are selected in every state by popular vote, state legislatures have the duty to ensure that voters are given a choice only between persons eligible to serve. Read More

Kolbe v. O’Malley — Amicus brief

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

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protected every citizen’s right to “keep and bear arms” in its 2008 Heller decision, lower federal courts have sought to evade the application of that rule. That pattern is now continuing in Maryland where a district judge has upheld the Maryland 2013 Firearms Safety Act (“Act”) which bans (i) so-called “assault weapons” and (ii) so-called “large-capacity magazines” that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Read More

Rudy v. Lee — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting a patent attorney’s claim that a law mandating an increase in patent application fees was invalid because it was signed into law by President Obama who does not meet the constitutional requirement to be a “natural born citizen.” The lower courts in the case ruled that the question of President Obama’s citizenship is a “political question” and thus an issue for Congress — not the courts — to decide. Read More

U.S. v. Wurie — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On April 9, 2014, we filed an amicus curiae brief in the case of United States v. Wurie. The issue before the court is whether arresting officers can search the cell phone of a person arrested without a warrant. However, the underlying issue in Wurie and its companion case, Riley v. California, is whether the Court will continue to apply its evolving reasonable expectation of privacy test birthed in Katz v. United States to searches incident to arrest, or instead continue with its restoration of property principles begun inUnited States v. Jones and Florida v. Jardines. Read More

Drake v. Jerejian — Amicus Brief challenging New Jersey’s Concealed Carry Laws

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

In New Jersey, it is a crime to possess a firearm unless you can prove that you fit within one or more tightly-drawn statutory exemptions. One exemption allows a person to have a handgun on his own property, but he may not step one foot beyond unless the gun is fully disabled and he is heading to an approved destination.

New Jersey carry permits are like honest politicians — they are rumored to exist, but few have ever actually seen one. As one State legislator observed: “It is virtually never done.” An ordinary person may be granted a permit only if he can prove to the satisfaction of a judge that his life is in grave danger. Certain members of the privileged class of government workers are permitted to carry firearms; they need only prove that they are currently or were formerly employed in law enforcement. Read More

Obamacare Contraception/Abortion Services Mandate Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

The story is told of a grizzled Master Sargent who, reflecting on his years of service, said: “When I joined up, homosexuality was prohibited; now it’s tolerated; and I darn sure am getting out before it’s mandatory.” So it is with respect to homosexual and abortion rights. First, the goal is said to be tolerance. Then, governmental approval and support. Lastly, any pretense of tolerance disappears, and the coercive force of government is used to eliminate any vestige of opposition. The Obamacare contraception/abortion mandate demonstrates that our nation is at the end of phase two, moving into phase three. Read More

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning — Amicus Brief for Citizens United

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, et al. in the United States Supreme Court, in support of the respondents.

In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the scope and limitations of the President’s recess appointment power.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, Lincoln Institute, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund. Read More

Tim Moose v. William Scott MacDonald Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, 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 Tim Moose v. William Scott MacDonald in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, Virginia Senator Dick Black, Public Advocate of the United States, U.S. Justice Foundation, Institute on the Constitution, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, The Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Research and Education, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Policy Analysis Center. Read More

Raymond Woollard, et al. v. Denis Gallagher, et al. Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms 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 challenging Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for those who apply for a concealed carry permit.

Since Heller, which involved the “keeping” of a handgun within the home, most lower federal courts have been unwilling to give Second Amendment rights significant application outside the home. Unfortunately, most judges serving on the lower federal courts have exhibited a continuing visceral hostility to firearms, the Second Amendment, and the Heller decision. Read More

Rosemond v. United States Amicus Brief for Gun Owners Foundation, et al. in the United States Supreme Court

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Justus Cornelius Rosemond v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. Our amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to examine the question raised in this case in light of the recently decided case of Alleynev. United States’ new interpretation of Section 924(c)(1)(A), defining three firearms offenses instead of only one. If the Government’s theory of aiding and abetting is affirmed in this case, it will unwisely and unnecessarily expand prosecutorial discretion in the administration of the mandatory minimum sentence structure of Section 924(c)(1)(A) and undermine the role of the jury envisioned in Alleyne. Read More

Kerri L. Kaley v. United States 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 Kerri L. Kaley v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners. Our amicus brief argues that the court of appeal’s preclusion of a meaningful right to challenge asset seizures imbalances the federal criminal justice system, impairs a defendant’s right to counsel of choice, and violates due process of law. Further, a grand jury indictment is not an acceptable substitute for a postindictment, pretrial hearing, prior to seizure of a defendants’ assets 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

Michael G. New v. United States — Petition for Certiorari

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the case of Michael G. New v. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court.

The petition urges the Supreme Court to grant the petition for the following reasons. First, the perfunctory disposition of petitioner’s coram nobis petition by the military courts conflicts with United States v. Denedo(Denedo II). Further, subject matter jurisdiction of this writ under 28 U.S.C. Section 1259(3) is an important federal question that has not been, but should be, decided by the Supreme Court. Finally, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces wrongfully denied New coram nobis relief from a fundamentally flawed court-martial by its failure to address the government’s misapplication of the Supreme Court’s political question doctrine. 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

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

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

Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief for Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall et al. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, American Life League, Inc., Institute on the Constitution, the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Public Advocate of the United States, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Liberty Committee, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, and Policy Analysis Center. Read More