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February 18, 2016
The Rutherford Institute, Wikipedia, ACLU Et Al. Ask Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to Reinstate Lawsuit Over the NSA's Mass Surveillance Program

The Rutherford Institute and a coalition of educational, legal, human rights and media organizations, including the ACLU, Wikipedia, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, have asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate a lawsuit challenging the government’s mass surveillance programs.

February 12, 2016
Citing Qualified Immunity & 'Good Faith,' Virginia Police Justify Conducting 'Welfare Check' With 2-Hour, SWAT-Style Raid, Flash Grenade, Arrest & Detention

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute are rebutting attempts by Virginia police and other government officials to dismiss a lawsuit against them after a request to 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.

February 10, 2016
Sixth Circuit Affirms That Police Can Spy on Citizens' Front Doors for 10 Weeks Without a Warrant Using Public Surveillance Cameras

In a ruling handed down in United States v. Rocky Joe Houston, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that police can spy on Americans’ front doors for ten weeks without a warrant using a camera mounted to a public utility pole. In rebutting the concern that such surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against warrantless searches, Circuit Judge John M. Rogers noted, “Although this ten-week surveillance was conducted without a warrant, the use of the pole camera did not violate Houston’s reasonable expectations of privacy because the camera recorded the same view of the farm as that enjoyed by passersby on public roads…the Fourth Amendment does not punish law enforcement for using technology to more efficiently conduct their investigations.”

February 05, 2016
'Muzzled: Stories of Free Speech and Censorship in America' Inaugural Podcast Features Interview With Constitutional Attorney John Whitehead

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — For its inaugural broadcast, “Muzzled: Stories of Free Speech and Censorship” features an hour-long interview with constitutional...

February 02, 2016
Rutherford Institute Warns Against Government Attempts to Intimidate Journalists by Prosecuting Radio Shock Jock Pete Santilli Over Oregon Standoff

Warning against attempts by the government to intimidate journalists whose reporting portrays the government in a negative light or encourages citizens to challenge government injustice and wrongdoing, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have weighed in on the government’s arrest and ongoing prosecution of radio shock jock Pete Santilli.

January 06, 2016
Free Speech Double Standard: Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Declare Unconstitutional Its Own Ban on Expressive Activity on Plaza

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare its own ban on expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza unconstitutional. In asking the Court to hear the case of Hodge v. Talkin, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s decision to uphold a 60-year-old federal statute criminalizing expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza conflicts with the high court’s own rulings regarding expressive activity in public elsewhere.

December 23, 2015
First Amendment Victory: Appeals Court Rejects Government Attempt to Deny Trademarks for Names That Might Cause Offense, e.g., 'The Slants'

Declaring that the government cannot refuse to register trademark applications because it disapproves of the expressive messages conveyed by the marks, a federal appeals court has ruled unconstitutional a federal statute that allows the government to reject trademark applications for names that might be offensive to certain persons or groups.

December 17, 2015
The Rutherford Institute, Wikipedia, ACLU Et Al. Appeal to 4th Circuit Seeking Reinstatement of Lawsuit Over the NSA's Mass Surveillance Program

The Rutherford Institute and a coalition of educational, legal, human rights and media organizations have filed an appeal and will ask the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate a lawsuit challenging the government’s mass surveillance programs.

December 15, 2015
It's Bill of Rights Day. Do You Know Where Your Freedoms Are?

The Bill of Rights officially became part of the U.S. Constitution on December 15, 1791. Unfortunately, more than 200 years later, the freedoms enshrined in those first ten amendments are in dire jeopardy. Those responsible for its demise are none other than the schools, which have failed to educate students about its principles; the courts, which have failed to uphold the rights enshrined within it; the politicians, who long ago sold out to corporations and special interests; and “we the people” who, in our ignorance and greed, have valued materialism over freedom.

December 08, 2015
Rutherford Institute Sues Texas Police Over Warrantless Raid, Search & Arrest of Homeowner Who Refused Entry to Police Without a Warrant

The Rutherford Institute has filed a Fourth Amendment lawsuit against Texas police officers who, after being denied entry to a private home without a warrant, arrested the homeowner, placed him in handcuffs, threw him to the ground for refusing to allow police to search his home, and then carried out a warrantless raid on his rural home.

December 04, 2015
John W. Whitehead Named '2015 Citizen of the Year' by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Chapter

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, has been named the “2015 Citizen of the Year” by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Chapter, in recognition of his patriotic achievement and service. Upon being presented with the Outstanding Citizenship Award at a private ceremony in Charlottesville, Va., Whitehead reminded listeners that the battle for freedom is not yet over. “Too often,” says Whitehead, “we forget that America began with a revolution. America was born out of the sheer grit and determination of a rebellious group of colonists. These freedom fighters stood their ground. They knew they had rights. And when those rights were systematically violated, they resisted.”

December 02, 2015
Reiterating Need for Common Sense About Christmas, Rutherford Institute Issues Guidelines for Celebrating Christmas in Public, at School or Work

Responding to a recent spate of cancellations of Christmas celebrations, concerts, parades and displays, The Rutherford Institute has issued its “Twelve Rules of Christmas” guidelines in the hopes of clearing up any confusion arising from political correctness over the do’s and don’ts of celebrating Christmas in schools, workplaces and elsewhere. Over the years, The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by parents and teachers alike complaining about schools changing their Christmas concerts to “winter holiday programs” and renaming Christmas “winter festival” or cancelling holiday celebrations altogether to avoid offending those who do not celebrate the various holidays.

November 21, 2015
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November 19, 2015
Rutherford Institute Sues Virginia Police for Carrying out a 'Welfare Check' with a 2-Hour, SWAT Team-Style Raid, Flash Grenade, Wrongful Arrest & Detention

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have sued Virginia police and other government officials after a request to 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. According to the complaint, police acknowledged that they had no legal basis nor probable cause for detaining Virginia resident Benjamin Burruss, who was preparing to depart on a camping/hunting trip to Montana, given that he had not threatened to harm anyone and was not mentally ill.

November 17, 2015
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Marine Brandon Raub Who Was Arrested & Locked up in a Mental Hospital for Criticizing the Gov't on Facebook

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of decorated Marine Brandon Raub, who was seized by a swarm of Secret Service, FBI and local police officials and involuntarily committed to a mental institution for a week after posting controversial song lyrics and political views critical of the government on his Facebook page.

November 11, 2015
Rutherford Responds: City Officials, Police Ask Federal Court to Dismiss First Amendment Lawsuit Over Violation of Street Preachers’ Free Speech Rights

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked a federal court to reject an attempt by the City of Hampton and three of its police officers to have a First Amendment lawsuit against them dismissed. Rutherford Institute attorneys sued government officials after police officers cited, convicted and arrested two street preachers for using voice amplifiers to share their message amidst crowds gathered for the City’s Hampton Bay Days. Although the ordinance banning the use of amplifiers (which the lawsuit challenged as unconstitutional) has since been repealed, Institute attorneys point out that the city has yet to rectify its wrongful arrest of the street preachers.

November 06, 2015
'Government Cannot Discriminate Against Offensive Speech': Rutherford Institute Argues for First Amendment Protection for Redskins' Name

The Rutherford Institute has asked a federal appeals court to reject a lower court ruling that confers sweeping power on the government to police private ideas and equates a trademark registration with a form of government-sanctioned speech. Weighing in before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al., attorneys for The Rutherford Institute and The Cato Institute argue that a district court order allowing the government to cancel the federal trademark registration of the NFL Redskins and refuse registration to other applications it deems “offensive” constitutes blatant content and viewpoint discrimination and imposes a “hecklers veto” on speech that violates the First Amendment’s protection of even unpopular speech.

November 05, 2015
Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Reconsider Decision Upholding 60-Year-Old Ban on Expressive Activity on U.S. Supreme Court Plaza

A federal appeals court has summarily rejected a request that it reconsider its ruling that a 60-year old federal statute criminalizing expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza is “reasonable” and does not violate the First Amendment, setting up an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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