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Legal Features

The Rutherford Institute/ACLU's amicus brief filed in Thomas Porter v. Harold W. Clarke

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —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. In weighing in before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the two civil liberties organizations argue that in the absence of a binding court ruling requiring the Virginia Department of Corrections to abide by court-mandated legal obligations to respect the inmates’ Eight Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, prisoners are at greater risk of having harsh conditions of isolation re-imposed upon them.

“This case reminds us that there is no room for trust in the relationship between the citizenry and the government,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Trust the government to police itself, and it will sidestep the law at every turn. The only way to ensure that government officials obey the law and respect the rights of the citizenry, as Thomas Jefferson recognized, is to bind them with ‘the chains of the Constitution.’”


August 28, 2018 • Rutherford Institute, ACLU Ask Fourth Circuit to Ensure that Prison Officials Do Not Re-Subject Inmates to Harsh, Dehumanizing Conditions


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