Bond v. U.S., Amicus Brief

admin Other Constitutional Cases

On December 10, 2010 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Carol Ann Bond v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner Bond. This case presents an unusual situation where the government has reconsidered its previous position and embraced the position of the criminal defendant petitioner Bond in seeking to overturn the decision of the court of appeals. Read More

Jewel v. NSA
(opposing the NSA’s mass internet surveillance system)

admin Searches and Seizures

Several customers of AT&T sued the NSA because of the NSA’s mass internet dragnet surveillance.  The district court first dismissed the case for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs, but the Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that the plaintiffs had shown a particularized injury.  Despite the government’s admission of its surveillance program, the case was dismissed because the district court concluded once again that the plaintiffs did not have standing because, using secret information filed by the government and not provided to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs failed to explain the secret operational details of the surveillance program. Read More

Peruta v. San Diego
(opposing San Diego’s “good cause” policy on concealed carry permits)

admin Firearms Law

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit previously handed down an opinion striking down San Diego County’s policy under which “self-defense” was not considered to be a “good cause” allowing the issuance of a concealed carry permit. Now, the Ninth Circuit decided to re-hear the case en banc. The Peruta case was consolidated with another case, Richards v. County of Yolo, which challenged Yolo County’s “good cause” policy. Our brief addressed issues in both cases. Read More

Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
(opposing disclosure of donors for pure issue ads mentioning a candidate)

admin Election Law and Campaign Finance

CLDEF filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Independence Institute in its challenge to the Federal Election Commission’s regulations requiring the public disclosure of the names and addresses of donors to nonprofits sponsoring pure issue ads. If an issue ad mentions the name of a candidate during specified periods and to a targeted audience, then it technically meets the criteria defining “Independent Expenditures,” and donors must be disclosed to the FEC – and the public. CLDEF’s brief explains the corrupt motivation of Congress in wanting this information to be made public. Read More

City of Los Angeles v. Patel
(opposing L.A.’s ordinance requiring warrantless disclosure of hotel guest registers)

admin Searches and Seizures

A group of Los Angeles hotel owners challenged a Los Angeles city ordinance which authorizes police to search through hotels’ guest registers without a warrant.  The City claimed that hotel owners have no expectation of privacy in a business record that they are required by the City to keep.  And the City claimed it has a significant interest in fighting crimes committed in and around the hotel property.  Thus, the City asserted that, in such a highly regulated industry, there is no need for probable cause, much less a warrant.  In short, Los Angeles argued that the Fourth Amendment does not apply. Read More

King v. Burwell
(challenging the tax credits provided to those who purchase health care through a federally established exchange)

admin Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, was designed to provide tax credits only to individuals who purchase health insurance through an “Exchange” established by a state.  These tax credits were intended to be incentives for states to create these Exchanges.  Nevertheless, many states resisted and refused to create state Exchanges.  In response, the IRS issued a rule granting that same tax credit to those individuals who purchase health insurance through Exchanges not established by a state — but by the federal government.  Suit was brought and the lower courts sustained the federal government’s position.  The U.S. Supreme Court then heard the case. Read More

Henderson v. United States
(opposing government confiscation of gun collections after conviction)

admin Firearms Law

Tony Henderson was a lawful firearms owner until he was convicted of a felony unrelated to his firearms.  While his trial was pending, he turned his firearms collection over to the government as a condition of bond.  After his conviction, the government would not let Henderson sell his firearms to an unrelated third party because the government claimed this would amount to unlawful “constructive possession” — even though the government physically possessed the firearms. Read More

Rodriguez v. United States
(opposing extended traffic stop without reason or warrant as an unlawful seizure)

admin Searches and Seizures

Rodriguez is a Fourth Amendment case involving a search and seizure after the predicate traffic stop had ended.  In this case, the police stopped a vehicle, and the officer wrote the driver a warning for momentarily veering onto the shoulder.  However, even though the stop had ended, the officer continued to talk to the occupants and asked them if they minded him searching the vehicle with his drug dog.  When the driver declined, the cop seized the car and occupants, ordering them not to move.  He then performed a dog-sniff drug search. Read More

Kolbe v. O’Malley
(opposing the Maryland gun law)

admin Firearms Law

A federal district judge upheld the Maryland 2013 Firearms Safety Act which bans (i) so-called “assault weapons” and (ii) so-called “large-capacity magazines” that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  The district judge first acknowledged that the Maryland Act was an “infringement” on Second Amendment rights, but upheld the law anyway, in utter disregard of the Second Amendment text commanding that those rights “shall not be infringed.” Read More

Rudy v. Lee
(challenging the validity of laws enacted by a person ineligible to be President)

admin Other Constitutional Cases

Mr. Rudy is a patent lawyer who was challenging the patent application fee increases based on the ineligibility of Barack Obama to enact laws as President of the United States.  The courts below ruled that whether Obama qualified to be President of the United States was a political question that cannot be entertained by the judicial system, having been given by the Constitution to Congress to determine. Read More

Heien v. North Carolina
(opposing warrantless stop and search based on police mistake of law)

admin Searches and Seizures

Heien is a Fourth Amendment case involving a traffic stop for something that the officer incorrectly believed was a crime.  Although the car should not have been stopped, the North Carolina courts upheld the police’s seizure of the car’s passenger’s illegal property because the police’s mistake in stopping the car was “reasonable.”  Heien sought U.S. Supreme Court review, and CLDEF submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of his position.  CLDEF’s brief critiqued the use of the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test that has been routinely used by federal courts to justify intrusions of liberty through a multitude of subjective shades of grey.  Instead, armed with an understanding that the Fourth Amendment protects property rights, the inquiry becomes objectively black and white — whether the government does or does not have a superior property interest in the person and/or vehicle it wishes to detain.  Viewed in that light, the police had no right to stop someone who had violated no law, regardless of how “reasonable” an officer’s mistake may seem to a court. Read More