United States v. Seerden

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in defense of a service member whose cell phone was searched and seized by the military in an unlawful manner.  As we have in the Jones case, the Graham case, the Zodhiates case, and others we explain how the Fourth Amendment first and foremost protects property rights, not some vague “reasonable expectation of privacy.” 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

Bill Olson on NewsmaxTV.com

Michael Harless Press Coverage

Bill Olson was interviewed by Steve Malzberg today on NewsmaxTV about the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of the petition for certiorari filed in Hedges v. Obama. Our firm filed three amicus briefs in the Hedges case, one in district court, one in the court of appeals, and one in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Second Circuit’s opinion leaves standing Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 authorizing the U.S. Military to arrest and indefinitely detain American Citizens without charges, without an attorney, and without trial. (Note: Newsmax used the wrong photo on screen for the interview.) Read More

Article: WorldNetDaily Covers Our Amicus Brief in Chris Hedges Challenge to NDAA

Michael Harless Press Coverage

Bob Unruh’s article discusses the tragedy of the U.S. Supreme Court denial of Chris Hedges’ petition for certiorari challenging the constitutionality of National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. NDAA 2012 allows the U.S. military to arrest and detain, without charges, counsel, or trial, anyone thought by the government to be a threat based on vague standards.

Attempting to deflect public wrath, those Republicans and Democrats in Congress who passed the law, and the Obama Administration which wanted it, have changed their public position repeatedly as to how the law would apply to American citizens. Of course, when legislators want to make a law clear, they know how to do it. When they try to make it murky, that too is on purpose. Read More

Chris Hedges v. Barack Obama Amicus Brief urges Supreme Court to bar NDAA Military Detentions of Citizens

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm has filed our third amicus brief in support of Chris Hedges and the other journalists and political activists who are challenging Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1540enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr1540enr.pdf), and its authorization of the military detention of civilians based on vague standards of providing “support” for an adversary of the United States. Read More

Our American Thinker Article Rebutting U.S. Department of Justice White Paper Supporting Presidential Authority to Kill American Citizens Off the Battlefield

Michael Harless Publications

This morning, the American Thinker published an article by Herb Titus and Bill Olson refuting the President’s claims of authority to kill American citizens off the battlefield.

Our article is a legal rebuttal of the U.S. Department of Justice’s White Paper purporting to defend President Obama’s position.

Link to article

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

Christopher Hedges v. Barack Obama, et al. Amicus Brief for U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Christopher Hedges v.Barack Obama, et al. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in support of appellees and affirmance. This lawsuit challenges the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) of 2012’s illegal detention provision. Our firm also filed an amicus brief earlier in this case with the district court. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States Petition for Reconsideration in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces

Today we filed a Petition for Reconsideration in the case of Michael G. New v. United States in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

By this petition, we seek reconsideration of Michael New’s writ-appeal petition on the ground that both the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces orders violate: (i) the two-tiered legal standard governing the exercise of discretion respecting Mr. New’s petition for a writ of error coram nobis established by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Denedo v. United States and (ii) the Fifth Amendment Due Process guarantee of “full and fair consideration,” as established by the Supreme Court in Burns v. Wilson. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States Reply Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces

On July 16, 2012, we filed Petitioner’s Reply to Respondent’s Answer to Petitioner’s Writ-Appeal Petition for Review of Army Court of Criminal Appeals Deceision on Application for Extraordinary Relief in the Form of a Writ of Error Coram Nobis in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

The Petition for a Writ of Coram Nobis and more information about the case is available here. Read More

Michael G. New v. United States

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Litigation

The Michael New case is back.

On May 16, 2012, we filed a Petition for a Writ of Coram Nobis based on the Army’s withholding of exculpatory evidence contained in two classified Executive Orders, access to which was unlawfully denied to Mr. New at his 1995 court-martial, at which he was charged and convicted of disobeying a lawful order for refusing to wear the U.N. uniform to serve in a U.N. peace operation in Macedonia. Read More

Christopher Hedges v. Barack Obama, et al. Amicus Brief for Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Christopher Hedges v.Barack Obama, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in support of plaintiffs. This lawsuit challenges the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012’s illegal detention provision. Anotice of motion for leave to file amicus curiae brief and supporting documents were filed with the amicus brief. Read More

Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. Additional Pleadings Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Litigation, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Today our firm joined with other co-counsel to file the following additional pleadings in the case of Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling,et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of plaintiff Sergeant Gary A. Stein:

Plaintiff’s Renewed Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Why Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue Read More

Memorandum for Delegate Bob Marshall on H.B. 1160 — A bill to Prevent Virginia from Aiding the U.S. Military in the Detention of Virginians under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012

Michael Harless Publications

Herb Titus wrote a memorandum for Delegate Bob Marshall on H.B. 1160 — A bill to Prevent Virginia from Aiding the U.S. Military in the Detention of Virginians under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The memorandum discusses the interplay between Virginia H.B. 1160 and the federal law that it addresses, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

Delegate Bob Marshall sent this legal analysis of H.B. 1160 to Governor Bob McDonnell, as discussed in this Washington Post blog article “Del. Marshall, again, urges McDonnell to sign detention bill” by Anita Kumar. Read More

Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Litigation, U. S. District Court, Southern District of California

Today our firm joined with other co-counsel to file the following documents in the case of Sergeant Gary A. Stein v. Colonel C.S. Dowling, et al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of plaintiff Sergeant Gary A. Stein:

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Plaintiff Stein’s Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue Read More

“The Proposed Enemy Expatriation Act: Sending American Citizens into Exile” by Herb Titus and Bill Olson

Michael Harless Publications

Herb Titus and Bill Olson wrote the article “The Proposed Enemy Expatriation Act: Sending American Citizens into Exile” published on AmericanThinker.com today. An excerpt from the article follows:

“Introduced as S. 1698 in the Senate and as H.R. 3166 in the House of Representatives, the Enemy Expatriation Act is expressly designed to ‘add engaging or supporting hostilities against the United States to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality.’ These bills are inconsistent with current law and Supreme Court precedent. They appear to be tailored to cow the American people, without regard for the 14th-Amendment guarantee prohibiting Congress from divesting an American citizen of his citizenship.” Read More

Herb Titus Law Review Article, “The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal: Breaching the Constitutional Ramparts” (December 27, 2011)

Michael Harless Publications

In a hard hitting essay first published in the Fall 2011 issue of the William & Mary Journal of Women in the Law, Herb Titus critically tracks the process by which the 111th Congress repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Titus maintains that from start to finish, the Democratic leadership chose to bring about repeal, utilizing an unconstitutional strategy that breached House rules, divested Congress of its legislative powers, and upended the legislative process by entrusting unelected bureaucrats with the power to prescribe the rules of governing sexual behavior in the nation’s land and naval forces. Titus concludes that, by disregarding the constitutional principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism, an irresponsible legislature has set a precedent that will threaten powers reserved to the States over their own militia, and increase the unconstitutional law-making powers already usurped by the courts. Read More