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.
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.
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.
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.
Pro-homosexual activists sought to force the public disclosure of the names of those who signed a petition to add Washington State Referendum 71 to the ballot. Proponents of Referendum 71 sought to prevent this disclosure, arguing that signing a petition is an exercise of the signers’ First Amendment rights. CLDEF filed an amicus curiae brief defending the anonymity of the petition signers, who were certain to receive harassment for their support of traditional marriage, as guaranteed by the freedom of the press. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of disclosure of the names of the petition signers.
On November 23, 2009, an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CLDEF in the case of Otis McDonald v. City of Chicago in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioners’ challenge to an ordinance banning handguns in Chicago. The amicus brief argues that the Chicago handgun ban unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ right to keep and bear arms, a privilege or immunity belonging to them as United States citizens protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. It also explains that no wholesale change in the Supreme Court’s Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence is required to rule that the Chicago ordinance unconstitutionally abridges petitioners’ right to keep and bear arms. Further, it asserts that incorporation of the right to keep and bear arms into the Due Process Clause would result in weak and potentially transitory protection of that right.
This case involved a village ordinance that required individuals exercising their First Amendment rights by going door-to-door to first identify themselves. CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief argued in support of the anonymous speech principle found embedded in the First Amendment by the freedom of the press. The Supreme Court agreed, finding that the ordinance was unconstitutional.