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December 03, 2021

Attorneys affiliated with The Rutherford Institute have filed suit against the governor of Delaware in the hopes of preventing him from using his emergency powers again in the future to restrict religious gatherings and practices. The preemptive legal action in Hines v. Carney, which was brought on behalf of a Delaware pastor, comes a year after The Rutherford Institute reached a settlement with the State of Delaware over its First Amendment lawsuit challenging discriminatory COVID-19 restrictions that applied to churches but not big-box shopping stores, liquor stores, and guns shops.

November 18, 2021

Challenging attempts by the government to carry out around-the-clock, year-long, warrantless surveillance on Americans, The Rutherford Institute and the Cato Institute have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the use of hidden cameras mounted on utility poles, aimed at private homes, and used to record activity at the home violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against warrantless, unreasonable searches. 

November 08, 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 appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling in Children’s Health Defense v. Facebook and prohibit Facebook from censoring and de-platforming critics of the COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the First Amendment.

November 04, 2021

In a case that pits the spiritual requests of death row inmates against prison protocols, the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to decide the extent to which, if at all, a prisoner’s right to religious freedom should be accommodated in the execution chamber. The case of Ramirez v. Collier, which involves a Texas death row inmate’s request to have his pastor touch him and pray out loud at the moment of his execution, highlights the disparate treatment regarding how spiritual care in the death chamber is administered, which has varied widely depending on the religion of the prisoner. 

October 22, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hold government officials liable for shootings and other violent behavior by off-duty police officers equipped with service weapons. The case of First Midwest Bank v. City of Chicago arose after a drunk, off-duty police officer with a history of complaints for off-duty violence, for which he had not ever been disciplined by the Chicago Police Department, shot someone in the back of the head using his service weapon, leaving the man severely and permanently disabled.

October 13, 2021

Privacy should not depend on your home’s square footage. Unfortunately, in refusing to affirm that the hallways outside apartments are protected curtilage which police may not invade without a warrant or a resident’s consent, the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling in Sorenson v. Massachusetts that leaves apartment dwellers vulnerable to warrantless police surveillance and arrests.  

October 07, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling in Edwards v. Harmon that justifies the use of excessive force by police on people who don’t understand police orders. In rejecting the appeal in Edwards v. Harmon, the Court refused 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. 

October 01, 2021

The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the First Amendment right of all Americans to speak out against government misconduct, corruption and abuse of power without fear of retaliation. In an amicus brief in Houston Community College  System v. Wilson, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, the ACLU and the Institute for Free Speech are challenging the power of legislative bodies to censure and penalize their members for speaking out about matters of public concern, especially when such punitive actions result in tangible losses. 

September 23, 2021

The Rutherford Institute as part of a coalition of more than 150 groups is calling on Congress to curb executive branch power, prevent future presidential abuses of power, restore checks and balances, and protect elections from foreign interference.

September 17, 2021

Delaware officials are attempting to evade a lawsuit challenging the state’s “evict first, ask questions later” policy after police mistakenly evicted a blind man and his family during a snowstorm and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the family stranded and forced to seek lodging at a homeless shelter. The lawsuit in Murphy v. Delaware alleges that Delaware violated the American with Disabilities Act and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

September 03, 2021

The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard the right of citizens and journalists to record police in public without fear of retaliation. The brief in Frasier v. Evans was filed in support of Colorado resident Levi Frasier, who sued Denver police for violating his civil rights after he was detained, questioned, and threatened with arrest in an effort to force him to turn over a video he captured of the police violently punching and head-slamming a suspect.

August 26, 2021

Privacy should not depend on your home’s square footage. Pushing back against a lower court ruling that leaves apartment dwellers vulnerable to warrantless surveillance and arrests, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the hallways outside apartments are protected curtilage which police may not invade without a warrant or a resident’s consent. In an amicus brief filed in Sorenson v. Massachusetts, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that just as the “curtilage” of detached homes are off-limits to police without a warrant, areas immediately adjacent to an apartment should also be considered protected curtilage under the Fourth Amendment.

August 13, 2021

Responding to concerns from employees in both the public and private sector about workplace requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccines and a desire to express their religious objections to such requirements, The Rutherford Institute has issued guidance and an in-depth fact sheet and model letter for those seeking a religious exemption to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the workplace.

August 11, 2021

Can the government require that citizens prove they need self-protection in order to carry a gun outside the home? That is the question before the U.S. Supreme Court in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, which has been asked to decide whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home for protection and whether government officials should be able to pick and choose which class of citizens are deemed worthy of self-protection.

August 04, 2021

Two Florida residents have been fined $3000 for displaying protest flags with the political message “F--k Biden” in violation of a city ordinance banning signs, clothing and other graphic displays containing words that the city deems “indecent.” In coming to the defense of Andrew Sheets and Richard Massey, attorneys with The Rutherford Institute challenged the City of Punta Gorda’s ban on indecent speech as unconstitutionally vague and a violation of the First Amendment’s safeguards for political speech that may not be censored or punished by the government.

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.

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