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April 20, 2017
Rutherford Institute Denounces Attorney General's Plan to Further Police Militarization, Cease Justice Dept. Oversight of Police Misconduct

Denouncing a plan by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to increase the flow of military equipment to police and have the Justice Department cease its oversight of police misconduct, The Rutherford Institute warned that if the federal government persists in its pursuit of policies that ignore systemic problems within local law enforcement agencies at the expense of the safety and constitutional rights of the American people, “we the people” will all suffer. In a letter to the Attorney General, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead urged Sessions to align the Justice Department’s priorities with that of the Constitution and, in doing so, not only protect the civil rights of citizens against abuse of power by state and local law enforcement but also “help police departments get better” by holding them fully accountable to the rule of law.

March 31, 2017
Concluding That Prison Officials Cannot Be Trusted to Maintain Humane Conditions, Appeals Court Reinstates Lawsuit Mandating Change

Finding that the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) could not be trusted to permanently change “dehumanizing” conditions at its “Death Row” prison, a federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit by prisoners who claim their confinement in oppressive isolation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, working in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that tactical policy changes adopted by VDOC in order to sidestep court-mandated legal obligations (the practice of “tactical mooting”) would leave prisoners at greater risk of having harsh conditions re-imposed upon them.

March 29, 2017
Rutherford Institute Issues Legal Guidance on Police 'Stop and ID' Tactics and the Legality of Government Agents Searching Electronic Devices

Charlottesville, Va. — Responding to the government’s increasing aggression in demanding to interrogate and search American citizens and noncitizens alike who...

March 23, 2017
Court Rules in Favor of Police Who Pounded on Wrong Door, Didn't Identify Themselves, Then Killed Innocent Man for Holding a Gun

According to a federal appeals court, police will not be held accountable for banging on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failing to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shooting and killing the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense. 

March 16, 2017
Kansas Supreme Court Rules That a Reclined Car Seat Is Suspicious Behavior & Can Be Used by Police as a Justification for Warrantless Searches

Declaring that motorists who recline their car seats are guilty of suspicious behavior, the Kansas Supreme Court has given police the green light to carry out warrantless searches of cars in which the seats are in a reclined position and plastic baggies are visible.

March 10, 2017
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity

In refusing to hear a challenge to Texas’ asset forfeiture law, the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas police to keep $201,000 in cash primarily on the basis that the seized cash—the proceeds of a home sale—was being transported on a highway associated with illegal drug trade, despite any proof of illegal activity by the owner. Asset forfeiture laws, which have come under intense scrutiny and criticism in recent years, allow the police to seize property “suspected” of being connected to criminal activity without having to prove the owner of the property is guilty of a criminal offense.

February 27, 2017
Rutherford Institute Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Police Liable for the Reckless Shooting of a Homeless Couple in the Wake of a Warrantless Raid

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Rutherford Institute is urging the United States Supreme Court to hold police liable for recklessly firing 15 times into a backyard shack in ...

February 23, 2017
Rutherford Institute Sounds Warning Over Intrusive Gov't Questionnaires, Issues Constitutional Guidelines on American Community Survey

The Rutherford Institute has issued constitutional guidelines for individuals alarmed by the government’s use of the ACS to extract private information about their home life and personal habits.

February 14, 2017
Rutherford Institute Challenges Use of Anonymous Source as Basis for Unconstitutional, Warrantless Raid, Search, Use of Force & Arrest by Police

The Rutherford Institute is pushing back against an effort by police to dismiss a Fourth Amendment lawsuit challenging a warrantless raid, search, use of force against and arrest of a Texas homeowner based on unreliable information from an anonymous source.

January 27, 2017
Rutherford Institute Defends First Amendment Rights of Street Preachers Arrested for Preaching Without a Permit

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in defense of two street preachers who were arrested for allegedly refusing police orders to cease proselytizing at a Princeton, N.J., train station without a non-commercial speech permit.

January 25, 2017
In Arguments Before Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, The Rutherford Institute & ACLU Join Forces to Challenge Conditions in Virginia Prisons

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today challenging “dehumanizing” conditions in Virginia prisons. In asking the federal appeals court to reinstate a lawsuit on behalf of Virginia death-row inmates who were held in “dehumanizing” conditions of isolation, The Rutherford Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union joined forces in support of the prisoners, arguing that tactical policy changes adopted by the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) in order to sidestep court-mandated legal obligations (the practice of “tactical mooting”) leave prisoners at greater risk of having harsh conditions re-imposed upon them.

January 18, 2017
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Case Challenging Gov't Censorship of Trademarked Names That Might Cause Offense ('The Slants')

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Lee v. Tam, which challenges the government’s practice of rejecting trademark applications for names that might be offensive to certain persons or groups.

January 12, 2017
Rutherford Institute Issues Constitutional Guidelines to Aid Citizens and Police in De-Escalating Encounters, Protecting Rights, Life & Property

In an effort to de-escalate tensions between American citizens and police and ensure that all parties emerge from such encounters with their lives, liberties and property intact, The Rutherford Institute has issued constitutional guidelines to better educate the public about their rights when stopped by the police, how to behave during a police encounter, what to expect during a traffic stop, and what to do if you believe your rights have been violated by a law enforcement official.

December 21, 2016
Rutherford Institute Issues Constitutional Guidelines to Aid Religious Institutions in Their Efforts to Feed, Shelter the Homeless, Esp. In Winter

Having defended the right of churches and other charitable institutions to provide shelter and food to the homeless and needy, especially during frigid temperatures, The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on “Helping the Homeless” to aid those who might encounter opposition from local government agencies.

December 20, 2016
Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Reject Gov’t Censorship of Trademarked Names that Might Cause Offense (‘The Slants’ and ‘Redskins’)

The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a federal trademark statute that allows the government to reject trademark applications for names that might be offensive to certain persons or groups such as “The Slants,” an Asian-American dance rock band, whose trademark application was denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on the grounds that the trademark might disparage or offend persons of Asian heritage (even though the applicant himself is of Asian heritage).

December 16, 2016
Challenging the TSA’s Screening Protocols as Ineffective, Invasive, Unlawful and Unhealthy, Rutherford Institute Asks Court to Prohibit Virtual Strip Searches

Pointing to evidence that the Transportations Security Administration’s (TSA) airport screening protocols are ineffective, invasive, unlawful and contrary to public safety, The Rutherford Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) have asked a federal court to reject the agency’s established protocols and strike down its use of whole body scanners, which have been likened to virtual strip searches.

December 14, 2016
Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Gov't Responsible for Using Unwarranted Deadly Force Against People Not on U.S. Soil

The Rutherford Institute and a coalition of human rights organizations have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a lawsuit filed by the family of a 15-year-old Mexican boy who was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent while playing in a culvert within feet of U.S. territory.

December 08, 2016
The Rutherford Institute, Wikipedia, ACLU Et Al. Rebut the Obama Administration's Claim That No Harm Is Caused by the NSA's Unprecedented Mass Surveillance

Rejecting as blatantly false the Obama administration’s contention that its mass surveillance program has inflicted no harm on American citizens, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, ACLU, Wikipedia, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will appear in court today to argue in favor of reinstating a First and Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Department of Justice and their directors.

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