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August 06, 2018

Denouncing a growing hostility to religion that has manifested itself in efforts to remove any references to God or religion from public places, The Rutherford Institute is asking the United States Supreme Court to prevent the removal of a 40-foot “Peace Cross” memorial from Veterans Memorial Park in Maryland that was erected 90 years ago to honor soldiers who were killed or wounded in World War I.

June 27, 2018

In a 5-4 ruling that errs on the side of the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, that state laws forcing public-sector employees to provide financial support for unions that engage in political activities with which they disagree violates the First Amendment.

June 26, 2018

In a 5-4 ruling in Carpenter v. United States that sends a strong message about privacy rights in an age of government surveillance, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before obtaining cell phone data to track a person’s movements.

May 29, 2018

Refusing to grant law enforcement yet another loophole to encroach on the rights of citizens to privacy in their homes, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police may not intrude on private property in order to carry out a warrantless search of a vehicle parked near a residence.

May 23, 2018

Denouncing senseless overregulation, especially as it relates to occupational licensing laws, The Rutherford Institute is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Missouri law requiring individuals to secure a costly license in order to braid hair.

May 16, 2018

The Rutherford Institute has filed a lawsuit demanding that government officials allow a physician to examine and provide medical care for a pipeline protester who is being deprived of food and water in an effort to force her to end her “tree sitting” protest against the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the National Forest.

May 02, 2018

In its latest “Constitutional Q&A,” The Rutherford Institute tackles the troubling use of excessive force by police who have shot and killed Americans of all ages, many of them unarmed, for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has very little to do with an actual threat to their safety. 

April 26, 2018

The Virginia Supreme Court has delivered a blow to the police’s use of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) to surveil citizens and track drivers’ movements. The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus brief in Neal v. Fairfax County Police Department challenging the police practice of collecting and storing ALPR data as a violation of Virginia law that prohibits the government from amassing personal information about individuals, including their driving habits and location. 

March 23, 2018

Urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings that deem only “mandatory” religious practices as worthy of First Amendment accommodations, thereby rendering many common religious practices such as reading a Bible unprotected, The Rutherford Institute has asked the Court to ensure that prisoners are afforded the fundamental protections they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution.

March 12, 2018

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an FBI agent and military veteran who was fired for blowing the whistle on misconduct within the FBI. In an amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in John C. Parkinson v. Department of Justice, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that Parkinson has a First Amendment right to speak out about agency misconduct within the FBI and retaliating against him for doing so deprives him of this constitutional right.

February 22, 2018

In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates held in “dehumanizing” conditions of isolation, a federal court has found that the conditions on Virginia’s death row violated the constitutional prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

February 09, 2018

Insisting that retailers have a First Amendment right not to be forced to speak for the government, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to strike down an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to tell consumers that cell phones are dangerous.

January 26, 2018

Warning that attempts by the political establishment to blacklist groups espousing unpopular ideas will endanger and undermine legitimate First Amendment activities across the political spectrum, The Rutherford Institute is calling on the Virginia General Assembly to denounce House Bill No. 1601.

January 18, 2018

The Rutherford Institute plans to request a rehearing before the entire Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a First Amendment case involving two street preachers who were charged with trespass and obstruction of justice and arrested for allegedly refusing police orders to cease proselytizing at a Princeton train station

January 12, 2018

Challenging a Minnesota law that bans political speech on any “badge, button, shirt, or hat” worn at election polling stations, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and The Individual Rights Foundation have asked the United States Supreme Court to declare that the clothing ban violates the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech.

December 13, 2017

Weighing in on a major digital privacy case before the U.S. Supreme Court, The Rutherford Institute is urging the high court to strictly enforce the nation’s federal wiretapping law and maintain core privacy protections enacted by Congress in 1968 to guard against the misuse of bugs and wiretaps by government agents.

December 06, 2017

Arguing that the First Amendment forbids the government from dictating what citizens should say, whom they should support or with whom they should associate, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn existing law that allows unions to require public-sector employees to subsidize political activities undertaken by the union.

November 30, 2017

As part of its annual effort to clear up much of the legal misunderstanding over the do’s and don’ts of celebrating Christmas, The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on the “Twelve Rules of Christmas.”

November 22, 2017

Warning against the continuing encroachment of law enforcement on the security and privacy of the homes of citizens, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit police from entering private residential property and approaching a home, uninvited and without a warrant, in order to search a vehicle parked a few feet from the house.

November 17, 2017

The Rutherford Institute has filed a Fourth Amendment lawsuit on behalf of a young African-American man who, after being stopped by Louisiana police for a broken taillight, was allegedly thrown to the ground, beaten, arrested and hospitalized for severe injuries to his face and arm, all for allegedly “resisting arrest” by driving to a safe, well-lit area before stopping.