Shelby County v. Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Supreme Court
(Fourteenth Amendment)
(challenging the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act)

admin Election Law and Campaign Finance

CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief argued 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, including the enforcement provisions of those amendments.  Under the 2006 amendments, the purpose of the preclearance is to “protect the ability of [minority] citizens to elect their preferred candidate of choice” and is no longer concerned with preventing voting law changes that mask racial discrimination denying or abridging the right to vote.  Further, Sections 4(b) and 5 of the VRA as amended in 2006 put Alabama on an unequal footing, in violation of the statute admitting Alabama to the union and the Tenth Amendment.  The Supreme Court held that Section 4’s coverage formula is unconstitutional in light of current conditions and can no longer be used as a basis for the preclearance requirement. Read More

James R. Clapper Jr. v. Amnesty International USA
(opposing FISA’s secret warrantless spying on U.S. citizens)

admin Searches and Seizures

This case involved a challenge, by attorneys sometimes representing foreign persons, to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Amendments of 2008, involving the government spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant.  The lower court dismissed the case, finding the plaintiffs lacked standing, but the Second Circuit reversed.  The Government sought U.S. Supreme Court review. Read More

Personhood Oklahoma v. Brittany Mays Barber
(defending proposed amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that life begins at conception)

admin Family and Life

A ballot initiative was proposed in Oklahoma to amend the state constitution to define “person” as “any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death.”  The proposal was challenged in state court, and the Supreme Court of Oklahoma blocked the proposed initiative from going forward to the voters on the ballot.  In doing so, the state supreme court misused the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to deprive the people of Oklahoma of a power reserved them by the Tenth Amendment.  The proponents of the initiative filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Read More

Louisiana v. Bryson
(opposing counting illegal aliens when apportioning House of Representative seats)

admin Immigration Law

The state of Louisiana filed an original action in the Supreme Court against the Secretary of Commerce of the United States, encompassing the United States Census Bureau, whose responsibility includes conducting the decennial census used for apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives among the States.  Louisiana claimed it lost a seat in the House because illegal aliens were included in the population and used for apportionment.  States with large numbers of illegal aliens gained a total of five seats, while other states lost five seats. Read More

Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief

admin Healthcare

On November 3, 2011 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF 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
(opposing police GPS tracking device on vehicle)

admin Searches and Seizures

This case constitutes a major victory for CLDEF!  Jones involved the police attaching a GPS tracking device to Jones’ vehicle without a warrant.  The police tracked Jones’ movements for nearly a month.  Jones was convicted, but the Court of Appeals overturned the conviction.  The government sought U.S. Supreme Court review.  The government argued that Jones had no expectation of privacy of his movements on the road. Read More

State of Arizona et al. v. United States, Amicus Brief (on the Petition for Writ of Certiorari)

admin Immigration Law

On September 12, 2011 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF 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. Read More

United States v. Antoine Jones, Amicus Brief (on the Petition for Writ of Certiorari)

admin Searches and Seizures

On May 16, 2011 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of United States v. Antoine Jones in the United States Supreme Court. Our amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to grant the petition for writ of certiorari in this case, not for the reasons stated in the government’s petition, but to resolve a split among the circuits on the Fourth Amendment’s relevance and application to covert installations of global positioning systems (“GPS”) on an American citizen’s automobile by restoring the Fourth Amendment to its original text and purpose. Our amicus brief argues that the original objective, property-based text and purpose of the Fourth Amendment should be revived and applied, while the current ad hoc subjective, privacy-based view of the Fourth Amendment should be rejected.

Awad v. Ziriax, Amicus Brief

admin Family and Life, First Amendment

On November 16, 2010 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Muneer Awad v. Paul Ziriax, et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Read More

Skoien v. U.S., Amicus Brief

admin Firearms Law

On November 15, 2010 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Steven Skoien v. United States in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner Skoien. Read More

Heller II, Amicus Brief

admin Firearms Law

On July 30, 2010 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Dick Anthony Heller v. District of Columbia in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Our amicus brief was the only amicus brief filed in support of the challenge by appellant Dick Heller and others to portions of the D.C. Code that (i) require registration of all firearms, (ii) prohibit registration of so-called “assault weapons” and (iii) prohibit possession of so-called “high capacity” magazines. Read More

Committee to Recall Robert Menendez v. Wells, Amicus Brief

admin Election Law and Campaign Finance

On May 10, 2010 an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of U.S. Senator v. Nina Mitchell Wells in the Supreme Court of New Jersey supporting the efforts of the plaintiff, the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez from the Office of U.S. Senator. On November 2, 1993, by an overwhelming majority, the people of New Jersey enacted an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution which allows the people to recall their representatives to the U.S. Congress, and directing the state legislature to promulgate laws to provide for recall elections, which the legislature did in May, 1995. Read More