The Rutherford Institute is committed to expertise in addressing issues of human rights and civil liberties. Legal Features contains an in-depth analysis of the legal issues which The Rutherford Institute is involved in everyday. Court briefings, case summaries, and legal analysis can provide a deeper understanding of the work which The Rutherford Institute takes on in order to protect and extend human rights and civil liberties throughout the country.
Warning against the coercive use of “knock and talks” by police as a means of sidestepping the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against warrantless, unreasonable searches, The Rutherford Institute has issued constitutional guidelines to alert the public to this aggressive, increasingly popular police tactic and what Americans can do to preserve their constitutional rights. In the wake of court rulings that allow police to make surprise, late-night “visits” to homes, purportedly for the purpose of “talking” with residents, the use of “knock and talks” by law enforcement agencies has exploded, with some police departments establishing squads dedicated to conducting “knock and talks.”March 29, 2017
Responding to the government’s increasing aggression in demanding to interrogate and search American citizens and noncitizens alike who are suspected of no criminal conduct and are doing nothing more than exercising their constitutional right to travel in public, The Rutherford Institute has issued constitutional guidelines on the extent to which may police stop individuals and demand that they identify themselves. In issuing the guidelines, Rutherford Institute attorneys point out that police “stop and ID” tactics, which in some instances include attempts to search cellphones and obtain access to social media accounts, violate the inherent right of people to move from place to place without government harassment and without fear of being monitored.