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October 17, 2018

Virginia police have agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit that arose after a request to have police carry out a “welfare check” on a 58-year-old man resulted in a two-hour, SWAT team-style raid on the man’s truck, a wrongful arrest, and a 72-hour mental health hold. The lawsuit, brought by The Rutherford Institute on behalf of Benjamin Burruss, alleged that a heavily armed police tactical team confronted Burruss, surrounded his truck, deployed a “stinger” device behind the rear tires, launched a flash grenade, smashed the side window in order to drag him from the truck, handcuffed and searched him, and transported him to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and mental health hold.

October 16, 2018

In public comments submitted to the National Park Service (NPS), The Rutherford Institute has denounced a proposal that would severely limit demonstrations in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall and in front of the White House, which have been the site of many historic protests, as well as require demonstrators to pay fees and acquire permits in order to exercise their lawful First Amendment rights.

October 10, 2018

The Rutherford Institute is challenging bogus “contempt of cop” charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that empower police to penalize and arrest individuals for engaging in lawful First Amendment activities (filming police, asking a question of police, refusing to speak with police).

September 28, 2018

In a victory for common sense and moderation in how police carry out security protocols, a general district court has granted The Rutherford Institute’s request to dismiss the government’s case against a disabled war veteran who was arrested and charged with a crime after he lawfully purchased cans of Arizona iced tea, aerosol bug spray, a light bulb, and razor blades, all of which were on the City of Charlottesville’s list of temporarily prohibited, potentially “dangerous” items.

September 27, 2018

Denouncing overzealous police tactics lacking in common sense and respect for the fundamental rights of the citizenry, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a disabled veteran who was arrested and charged with a crime after he lawfully purchased cans of Arizona iced tea, aerosol bug spray, a light bulb, and razor blades, all of which were on the City of Charlottesville’s list of temporarily prohibited, potentially “dangerous” items.

September 20, 2018

Declaring that the manner in which Facebook has allowed its “false news” labeling policies to be applied to independent news organizations is contrary to the values embodied in the First Amendment, and is wholly inconsistent with standards of fairness and due process, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of The Free Thought Project, a news organization that has had several of its news stories wrongly labeled “false news” by Facebook.

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 06, 2018

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a Texas family who allege Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents groped their 13-year-old daughter during an unwarranted pat-down search and then reported the father to police after he objected to the TSA’s treatment of his minor children.

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. 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.

August 24, 2018

In light of major changes taking place at the U.S. Supreme Court, The Rutherford Institute has released a new report that examines the significance of the Court’s most critical rulings handed down during its 2017-2018 term. “Justice Is Not Neutral” provides a detailed analysis of some the most critical rulings handed down within the past year, especially as they relate to First and Fourth Amendment rights.

August 17, 2018

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, will be a featured speaker at the third annual Ron Paul Institute’s Peace and Prosperity Conference on August 18, 2018, in Washington, DC. Whitehead will speak on the far-reaching ramifications of domestic militarization and the transformation of America into a war zone.

August 09, 2018

In the absence of any publicized information about credible threats to public safety surrounding the upcoming one-year anniversary of the events of August 12, The Rutherford Institute has grave concerns about 1) the City of Charlottesville’s decision to enact severe lockdown security measures in advance of the upcoming one-year anniversary of the August 12 events, 2) the process that resulted in the adoption of such measures, and 3) the impact they will have on the civil liberties of the residents of the community.

August 03, 2018

Denouncing a growing hostility to religion that has manifested itself in efforts to remove any references to God or religion from public places, The Rutherford Institute is asking the United States Supreme Court to prevent 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. 

July 26, 2018

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against Oklahoma police for wrongfully subjecting a reserve police officer to a warrantless entry and search of his home and seizure of his lawful firearms and prescription medications.

July 13, 2018

Denouncing the government’s ongoing abuse of its eminent domain powers, The Rutherford Institute is asking the U. S. Supreme Court to scale back the government’s ability to seize private property in order to benefit influential business interests.

June 27, 2018

In a 5-4 ruling that errs on the side of the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, that state laws forcing public-sector employees to provide financial support for unions that engage in political activities with which they disagree violates the First Amendment.

June 22, 2018

In a 5-4 ruling in Carpenter v. United States that sends a strong message about privacy rights in an age of government surveillance, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before obtaining cell phone data to track a person’s movements.