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March 22, 2021

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Rutherford Institute has issued an in-depth report on the impact of the nation’s response to the pandemic on civil liberties. The report, “Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19,” analyzes the various tactics employed by federal and state governments to lock down the nation, the toll such restrictions have taken on constitutional rights, and whether such actions constituted an overreach of the government’s legal authority.

September 18, 2020

The Rutherford Institute has issued a precautionary “opt out” letter as a means by which families whose children are taking part in remote learning / virtual classes might assert their Fourth Amendment privacy rights and guard against intrusive government surveillance posed by remote learning technologies. The Institute released its model “Parental Reservation of Rights – Remote Learning Surveillance” letter in the wake of a growing number of incidents in which students have been suspended and reported to police by school officials for having toy guns nearby while taking part in virtual schooling.

September 26, 2019

Denouncing state laws that claim to advocate for school choice while discriminating against individuals who favor private schools with religious ties, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a provision of Montana’s constitution that prohibits students from using scholarship funds to attend religiously-affiliated private schools.

September 20, 2019

The Rutherford Institute has asked a federal appeals court to strike down an Arkansas county jail’s postcard-only policy that limits the mail prisoners can send and receive to postcards, arguing that the restriction violates the First Amendment.

September 13, 2019

The Rutherford Institute is challenging the police practice of stopping cars registered to unlicensed owners, whether or not the owners are behind the wheel (such vehicles are often driven by licensed family members and friends) and in the absence of specific wrongdoing.

March 28, 2019

Pushing back against a law that allows the government to censor speech it finds distasteful or immoral, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a federal statute that allows the government to reject trademark applications for “scandalous” brand names that some might find offensive. In this particular case, the government rejected as immoral or scandalous a trademark application for streetwear brand “FUCT” (an acronym for “FRIENDS U CAN’T TRUST”) that serves as artist Erik Brunetti’s commentary on the need to challenge government authority and societal assumptions. 

March 07, 2019

Weighing in on a First Amendment case that could have significant ramifications for online communications and controversial art forms, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a rap artist who was charged with making terrorist threats after posting a rap song critical of police on Facebook and YouTube. Police had been actively monitoring rapper Jamal Knox’s (a.k.a. “Mayhem Mal”) social media presence when they discovered the song titled “F**k the Police” and charged Knox and his rap partner with multiple counts of terroristic threats and witness intimidation. 

January 24, 2019

The Rutherford Institute is weighing in on a case in which police shot a military veteran multiple times, then let him bleed to death rather than rendering emergency aid. 

January 17, 2019

Denouncing the use of “contempt of cop” charges as a means of justifying the use of excessive force by police, The Rutherford Institute has asked a federal court to reject a request by Louisiana police to dismiss a Fourth Amendment lawsuit filed on behalf of a young African-American man who was slammed to the ground face-first and pummeled by police officers during a traffic stop for a broken taillight. 

January 10, 2019

Denouncing the growing hostility to religion that has manifested itself in efforts to eradicate references to God and religion from public places, The Rutherford Institute is asking the United States Supreme Court to reverse a court order requiring 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. 

December 20, 2018

Americans do not shed their right to privacy or other constitutional rights merely by entering an airport in order to board a plane. Certainly, no American should be subjected to a virtual strip search or excessive groping of the body, or have their underage children touched intimately by strangers as a matter of course in boarding an airplane when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing.

December 04, 2018

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 13, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a 40-foot “Peace Cross” memorial in Veterans Memorial Park in Maryland erected 90 years ago to honor soldiers who were killed or wounded in World War I must be removed as an unconstitutional religious display.

November 13, 2018

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against Oklahoma police who, despite being faced with an African-American man who complied fully with police orders during an arrest, subjected him to excessive force and brutality that included throwing the man to the ground, tasering him, placing him in a chokehold, and rendering him unconscious so that he had to be hospitalized for three days.

November 13, 2018

The Rutherford Institute denounces Trump administration’s unconstitutional proposal to terminate birthright citizenship by way of executive order.

October 23, 2018

Taking a stand against impermissible government efforts to imprison not only the body but also the mind, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect prisoners’ First Amendment right to access legal news and resources.

September 13, 2018

In an effort to reform the nation’s harsh and overly-punitive criminal justice system, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to fully enforce the Constitution’s ban on double jeopardy by overruling precedent allowing a single act by a person to be the basis for successive prosecutions by the states and the federal government, even if the person is found not guilty in the first trial.

September 12, 2018

Taking aim at excessive, arbitrary asset forfeiture laws, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that state governments must abide by the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on the imposition of “excessive fines” for criminal offenses.

September 05, 2018

Warning that government abuse of power at any level must not be allowed to stand unchecked, The Rutherford Institute is challenging a ruling that grants immunity to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers who engage in official misconduct.

August 28, 2018

The Rutherford Institute, working in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, has asked a federal appeals court to uphold an injunction ensuring that prison officials do not sidestep court rulings and re-subject Virginia death-row inmates to “dehumanizing” conditions of isolation.

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