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August 17, 2018

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, will be a featured speaker at the third annual Ron Paul Institute’s Peace and Prosperity Conference on August 18, 2018, in Washington, DC. Whitehead will speak on the far-reaching ramifications of domestic militarization and the transformation of America into a war zone.

August 09, 2018

In the absence of any publicized information about credible threats to public safety surrounding the upcoming one-year anniversary of the events of August 12, The Rutherford Institute has grave concerns about 1) the City of Charlottesville’s decision to enact severe lockdown security measures in advance of the upcoming one-year anniversary of the August 12 events, 2) the process that resulted in the adoption of such measures, and 3) the impact they will have on the civil liberties of the residents of the community.

August 03, 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. 

July 26, 2018

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against Oklahoma police for wrongfully subjecting a reserve police officer to a warrantless entry and search of his home and seizure of his lawful firearms and prescription medications.

July 13, 2018

Denouncing the government’s ongoing abuse of its eminent domain powers, The Rutherford Institute is asking the U. S. Supreme Court to scale back the government’s ability to seize private property in order to benefit influential business interests.

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 22, 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.

June 20, 2018

In response to a growing wave of criticism across the political spectrum for the government’s policy of separating migrant children, some as young as 3 months old, from their parents as part of the Trump Administration’s efforts to deter illegal border crossings, President Trump has issued an executive order ending the child-separation policy at the U.S. southern border. 

June 14, 2018

In a decisive 7-2 ruling in favor of the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech, the United States Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutionally vague a Minnesota law that bans political speech on any “badge, button, shirt, or hat” worn at election polling stations.

June 11, 2018

Citing the need to address and resolve concerns about Maryland State Police internal controls, improper influences and faulty police practices in connection with a fatal car crash, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked Maryland officials to launch an independent  review of the circumstances surrounding the crash.

June 01, 2018

In refusing to hear the First Amendment case of a Christian prisoner who was denied access to a legible Bible while in solitary confinement, the U.S. Supreme Court has paved the way for government officials to restrict religious activities that are not deemed to be “mandatory” religious practices.

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 18, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two Fourth Amendment rulings this week that impact privacy rights. In the first case, Byrd v. United States, a unanimous Court ruled that drivers of rental cars—whether or not they are explicitly named in the rental agreement—are generally entitled to the same reasonable expectations of privacy under the Fourth Amendment as the individual listed in the rental agreement.

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 03, 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, a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Virginia, 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.

April 12, 2018

Condemning draconian zero tolerance school policies bereft of common sense, The Rutherford Institute is demanding that a North Carolina school district rescind the suspension of a middle school student for drawing a sword-wielding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and other fanciful stick figures. In coming to the defense of a 13-year-old student at Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School who was suspended for two days for doodling stick-figure drawings that included a Ninja Turtle holding swords in each hand, another stick figure aiming a rifle, a souped-up car, a magician, and a tower with a bow and arrow, Rutherford Institute attorneys assert that the punishment infringes on the student’s First Amendment right of expression, is excessive and is contrary to district policies guaranteeing children a right to an education.

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 15, 2018

Events of the past year have generated a nearly unprecedented level of public debate over the protections and limits of the First Amendment right of free speech. On March 21, 2018, two of the nation’s foremost civil liberties attorneys, John W. Whitehead (president of The Rutherford Institute) and Nadine Strossen (former head of the ACLU) will discuss and debate the unique tensions surrounding First Amendment activities in the current national and political climate, especially as they relate to free speech, freedom of the press, the right to petition/protest, and the freedom of assembly, hate speech laws, laws limiting protest activities nationwide, and the role of government leaders in cultivating an environment in which free speech is valued and protected.