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July 21, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to hold police responsible for brutalizing an African-American man who, despite complying with police orders during an arrest, was subjected to excessive force and brutality, including being thrown to the ground, tasered, and placed in a chokehold that rendered him unconscious and required his hospitalization for three days. 

July 08, 2021

In a victory for parents’ rights and students’ free speech rights in Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L., the U.S. Supreme Court has restricted the authority of public schools to punish students for speech engaged in off-campus.

June 29, 2021

In a victory for efforts to curtail the government’s spying powers, a federal appeals court has found that the City of Baltimore’s use of aerial surveillance to continuously track and monitor the activities of citizens throughout the city violated the Fourth Amendment. 

June 25, 2021

The dystopian future that George Orwell predicted for 1984 has finally arrived, 100 years late and ten times as brutal. To save all that he loves, Orwell will have to travel between his future self—Erik Blair, Orwell's descendant and unwitting heir to his legacy—and the past. | "The Erik Blair Diaries: Battlefield of the Dead" by John W. Whitehead. The first novel in a dystopian trilogy.

June 24, 2021

In a victory for the Fourth Amendment right of homeowners to be protected against warrantless home invasions, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Lange v. State of California that “hot pursuit” of persons suspected of minor offenses does not alone justify a warrantless home invasion by law enforcement.

June 21, 2021

In a victory for prisoners’ rights, a federal appeals court has given the green light to a First Amendment lawsuit challenging an Arkansas county jail’s postcard-only policy that limits the mail prisoners can send and receive to postcards.

June 18, 2021

In a victory for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the First Amendment right of a Catholic ministry to participate in a city-run children’s foster care program. 

May 17, 2021

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Caniglia v. Strom that police cannot carry out warrantless home invasions in order to seize guns under the pretext of their “community caretaking” duties. 

April 29, 2021

Warning against the rising threat to free speech posed by the government’s collusion with large technology companies in order to regulate and control what ideas can be shared on the internet and through social media, The Rutherford Institute has asked a federal court to prohibit Facebook from censoring and de-platforming critics of the COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the First Amendment.

April 26, 2021

Weighing in on a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, The Rutherford Institute is challenging government overreach, compelled speech and attempts to boost state budgets through fines and penalties. In an amicus brief filed with the Cato Institute in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Connors, attorneys argue that the government’s attempts to impose millions of dollars in penalties on a drug manufacturer for failing to adopt and espouse the government’s position on controversial scientific matter constitutes compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment.

April 15, 2021

In a 5-3 decision in Torres v. Madrid, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a police shooting, even without an immediate arrest, constitutes a seizure that can be challenged as a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against the use of excessive force during an arrest. The case arose after Roxanne Torres, mistaking officers who approached her car with guns drawn for carjackers, fled from police only to be pursued and shot twice in the back. 

April 08, 2021

Warning against attempts by public school officials to expand their disastrous zero tolerance policies to encompass so-called ‘violations’ that take place in students’ homes and home environments, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a 14-year-old cheerleader who was suspended for expressing adolescent angst on Snapchat about not making the varsity cheer squad or softball team.

April 01, 2021

Defying clearly established First Amendment jurisprudence that protects the right to record police in public without fear of retaliation, a federal appeals court has given police the green light to intimidate and threaten individuals who record police brutality and misconduct. In dismissing a lawsuit by a man who was detained and questioned by police and threatened with arrest after recording police violently punching and head-slamming a suspect, a panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Frasier v. Evans that police are protected by qualified immunity.

March 26, 2021

The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to re-consider mandatory life sentences for young adults suffering from mental and emotional trauma which, when combined with their youth and emotional immaturity, may have contributed to their criminal offenses.

March 24, 2021

The Rutherford Institute is demanding that the State of Delaware cease enforcing its “evict first, ask questions later” policy after police mistakenly evicted a disabled man and his family during a snowstorm and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite state and federal moratoria on evictions.

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.

March 08, 2021

In a victory for the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 8-1 in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski that a college student cited by campus police for “disorderly conduct” for speaking about his Christian faith and distributing religious literature on campus can sue officials for violating his free speech rights.

March 04, 2021

As part of a broader push for criminal justice reform, a wide-ranging coalition of civil liberties and public policy groups, as well as a bipartisan group of senators, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that individuals subjected to discriminatory drug laws that disproportionately, by a 100-1 ratio, deliver harsher prison sentences to African-Americans for low-level offenses can have their sentences reconsidered in a fairer light. 

February 22, 2021

In a case that tests the limits of digital privacy and the Fifth Amendment, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block an attempt by the government to force Americans to allow police carte blanche access to the contents of their cell phones and electronic devices by disclosing their pass codes.

February 12, 2021

In a victory for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Dunn v. Smith, affirming the right of a death row inmate to have a spiritual advisor present during his execution.

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