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April 19, 2016
Rutherford Institute Pushes Back Against Government Efforts to Muzzle Free Speech & Establish a 'Cordon of Silence' in Front of U.S. Supreme Court

In pushing back against a government mindset that seeks to muzzle lawful First Amendment activity by establishing a “cordon of silence” in front of the U.S. Supreme Court plaza, The Rutherford Institute is urging the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Hodge v. Talkin and, in doing so, overturn a 60-year-old federal statute criminalizing expressive activity on the plaza. The ban, which was described by a lower court as “repugnant” to the Constitution, extends even to those wearing t-shirts with political messages.

April 14, 2016
COURT: Rutherford Institute Rebuts Police Justifications for Carrying out a 'Welfare Check' With a 2-Hour, SWAT-Style Raid, Flash Grenade, & Wrongful Arrest

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute will appear in court today to present arguments opposing an attempt by Virginia police 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.

April 05, 2016
Rutherford Institute to Appeal First Amendment Case of Street Preachers Discriminated Against and Arrested for Preaching at Princeton Train Station

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute are planning to appeal the dismissal of a First Amendment lawsuit involving two street preachers who were charged with trespass and obstruction of justice and arrested for allegedly refusing police orders to cease proselytizing at a Princeton train station.

March 29, 2016
Deadlocked 4-4 Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court Forces Public Employees to Continue Paying Mandatory Union Dues for Political Activities With Which They Disagree

In the first major ruling to deadlock since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a 4-4 U.S. Supreme Court has reached a stalemate in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which challenged whether public-sector employees should be required to subsidize political activities with which they disagree in violation of their First Amendment rights.

March 22, 2016
First Amendment Victory: San Francisco Settles Lawsuit Over Activist's Right to Peacefully Display Sign in Willie Mays Plaza in Front of Giants Ballpark

A settlement has been reached in a First Amendment lawsuit filed by The Rutherford Institute against police officers who allegedly intimidated and threatened to arrest a man who was lawfully and peacefully exercising his First Amendment rights in the Willie Mays Plaza prior to a Giants v. Dodgers game by holding up a “John 3:16” religious sign in the public plaza in front of the San Francisco Giants ballpark.

March 18, 2016
Rutherford Institute Urges Congress to Strengthen Protections for FBI Whistleblowers Who Speak Out Against Government Waste and Misconduct

During Sunshine Week, The Rutherford Institute joined with a broad spectrum of nearly 30 organizations and whistleblowers—including the Government Accountability Project, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the American Library Association and whistleblower Coleen Rowley (a retired FBI agent who disclosed the Bureau’s pre-9/11 lapses)—to urge Congress to strengthen protections for employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who speak out against government waste and misconduct.

March 15, 2016
John W. Whitehead to Appear at Virginia Festival of the Book to Discuss His Best-Selling Book 'Battlefield America: The War on the American People'

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, will appear at a special session of the Virginia Festival of the Book, taking place in Charlottesville, Va., on Thursday, March 17, from 4-5:30 pm EST to discuss his best-selling book Battlefield America: The War on the American People.

March 11, 2016
VICTORY: Police Settle Rutherford Institute Lawsuit Over Activist Held at Gun Point, Handcuffed and Arrested for Lawfully Carrying a Rifle During a Protest

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by The Rutherford Institute on behalf of a man who was arrested as he was engaged in a First Amendment protest against President Obama while lawfully carrying a rifle.

March 09, 2016
Warning Against Efforts to Muzzle Citizens & Avoid Transparency, Rutherford Institute Issues 1st Amendment Guidelines for Public Meetings

Warning that representative government works best when the government’s actions are fully disclosed and citizens are allowed to speak honestly and openly to their elected representatives and other citizens without fear of retribution, The Rutherford Institute has issued guidelines for local boards, commissions and councils to consider and follow in order to best assure that the fundamental First Amendment rights of citizens are respected.

February 24, 2016
Citing Need for Greater Transparency, The Rutherford Institute Warns Virginia General Assembly Against Creating Secret Police Force

Sounding a warning over proposed legislation that would bar the public from learning the identity of persons employed as law enforcement officers, The Rutherford Institute is cautioning the Virginia General Assembly against taking an unprecedented and unjustified step toward the creation of unaccountable secret police forces. The proposed legislation, Senate Bill No. 552, would classify the names of all police officers as “personnel records,” and exempt them from mandatory disclosure under Virginia’s freedom of information law.

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.

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