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. 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

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

Delroy Fischer v. United States — Reply Brief for Petitioner

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed reply brief for petitioner in the case of Delroy Fischerv. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court. In this case, petitioner Fischer is asking the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over the question whether the use of force element of the predicate misdemeanor in a section 922(g)(9) prosecution is determined by factual findings found in the state court record, or by the text of the relevant misdemeanor statute. Read More

Delroy Fischer v. United States — Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today our firm filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the case of Delroy Fischer v. United States of America in the United States Supreme Court. In this case, petitioner Fischer is asking the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over the question whether the use of force element of the predicate misdemeanor in a section 922(g)(9) prosecution is determined by factual findings found in the state court record, or by the text of the relevant misdemeanor statute. Read More

David R. Olofson — Petition for Certiorari filed

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

Today, our firm filed a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, on behalf of Army Reservist David Olofson, urging the Court to grant Certiorari to review the Seventh Circuit decision affirming Olofson’s conviction. The Petition was docketed on August 31, 2009. Amicus briefs are due by September 30, 2009.

Olofson was sentenced to prison for 30 months for transferring a “machine gun” — which really was a lawful-to-own, semi-automatic AR-15 rifle which occasionally manifested a “hammer-follow” malfunction, resulting in short bursts followed by jamming. Read More

Michael New v. Donald H. Rumsfeld — Reply Brief of Petitioner

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

We filed in the United States Supreme Court a reply to the Government’s brief in opposition to former Army Specialist Michel G. New’s petition for review of his January 1995 court-martial conviction (for violation of an order requiring him to wear the United Nations uniform prescribed for deployment to a U.N. operation in Macedonia).

After we had filed the Petition for Certiorari in November 2006, the Government filed a waiver with the Court, presumably indicating thereby that it considered New’s petition to be without merit.  In December 2006, however, the Court requested the Government to file a response which it did on March 20, 2007 with a brief in opposition. Read More

Michael G. New v. Donald H. Rumsfeld — SG ordered to file response

Michael Harless Constitutional Law

On December 21, 2006, William K. Suter, Clerk of the Supreme Court, wrote to the Solicitor General informing the General that, although his office had waived a right to respond to the Michael New’s petition for certiorari, the Court has directed the Clerk to request that the Solicitor General file a response to the petition on or before January 22, 2007. (This deadline was subsequently was extended to February 21, 2007.)  According to the rules of the Court, within ten days after the filing of the response, the Court will decide whether New’s petition for review will be granted or denied. Read More

Michael G. New v. Donald H. Rumsfeld — Petition for Certiorari

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, we filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, seeking review by the United States Supreme Court of the dismissal of Michael G. New’s collateral attack on his January 1996 court-martial.  (Former Army Specialist New was convicted of disobedience of an allegedly lawful order for failure to wear the United Nations uniform prescribed for his unit’s deployment as part of a U.N. commanded operation in Macedonia.) Read More

Census 2000 Fight Continues — Petition for Certiorari filed

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On Tuesday, January 8, 2002, a petition for writ of certiorari was filed in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Edgar Morales and four other residents of Texas seeking review of the constitutionality of Census 2000.  At issue is whether Congress has the power to require, under penalty of law, that the American people answer questions on race, employment, housing and other subjects invading their privacy and totally unrelated to the two express constitutional purposes for the decennial census — apportionment of representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the imposition of direct taxes. Read More

Michael New v. United States — Petition for Certiorari

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

On Monday, September 10, 2001, nearly six years after he refused to put on the United Nations uniform and to submit to the command and control of a foreign military officer, Michael New has taken his fight for justice to the United States Supreme Court.

At the heart of his appeal is New’s right to his day in court. In a petition for writ of certiorari, New is asking the High Court to overrule the judgment of three military courts which essentially refused to deal with his claims that the Constitution does not allow the President unilaterally to order American soldiers to fight for a foreign government. Read More