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June 02, 2016
TRI Denounces Efforts to Exempt Government NGI Biometric Database From Privacy Laws Aimed at Protecting Citizens

Warning against efforts by the FBI and Justice Department to acquire near-limitless power and control over biometric information collected on law-abiding individuals, millions of whom have never been accused of a crime, The Rutherford Institute has denounced an attempt to exempt the government’s massive biometric database from a federal law aimed at protecting Americans’ privacy. 

May 18, 2016
Victory: Oklahoma Moves to Enact Law Accommodating Religious Objections to Biometric Photo Requirement on Drivers’ Licenses

Spurred on by a lawsuit filed by attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, the Oklahoma State Legislature is poised to enact a law that protects individuals from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by submitting to a biometric photograph as a condition of obtaining a driver’s license.

May 16, 2016
In a Devastating Blow to First Amendment, U.S. Supreme Court Upholds ‘Repugnant’ 60-Year-Old Ban on Expressive Activity on Supreme Court Plaza

In a devastating blow to the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a 60-year-old ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza. The Court’s ruling comes in response to an appeal filed by The Rutherford Institute in Hodge v. Talkin, which challenged a federal statute criminalizing expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza.

May 10, 2016
Victory: Court Green Lights Suit Against Police Over Wrongful Arrest, Strip Search & Detention of Disabled Man Based on Slurred Speech, Unsteady Gait

A federal appeals court has given attorneys for The Rutherford Institute the green light to move forward with a lawsuit against Virginia police officers on behalf of a 37-year-old disabled man who went to a police station to report the theft of his cable services and ended up being strip searched, handcuffed to a table, diagnosed as having “mental health issues,” and involuntarily detained for six days for a mental-health evaluation with no access to family and friends, allegedly because of his slurred speech and unsteady gait.

May 09, 2016
The Rutherford Institute, Wikipedia, ACLU Et Al. Rebut the Obama Administration's Claim That No Harm Is Caused by the NSA's Unprecedented Mass Surveillance

Rejecting as patently false the Obama administration’s contention that its mass surveillance program has inflicted no harm on American citizens, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, ACLU, Wikipedia, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a First and Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Department of Justice and their directors.

May 05, 2016
Rutherford Institute Denounces Stealth DOJ Move to Expand Police Powers & Remotely Hack Into Phones, Computers in Absence of Criminal Activity

The Rutherford Institute has denounced a stealth effort by the Department of Justice to give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the power to remotely hack into personal computers and mobile devices, implant malicious software on computers, and rummage through the personal contents of those computers in the absence of criminal activity by the devices’ owners.

May 03, 2016
Declaring TSA Passenger Screening & Whole Body Scanners to Be Ineffective & Unlawful, Rutherford Institute & CEI Mount Renewed Legal Challenge

The Rutherford Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) have joined forces to continue to push back against the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of whole body scanners, which have been likened to virtual strip searches, in the nation’s airports.

April 20, 2016
Court Gives Green Light to Rutherford Institute Lawsuit Over 'Welfare Check' Carried out With a 2-Hour, SWAT-Style Raid, Flash Grenade, & Wrongful Arrest

A federal judge has given attorneys for The Rutherford Institute the go-ahead to proceed with a lawsuit against Virginia police after a “welfare check” on a 58-year-old man resulted in a two-hour, SWAT team-style raid on the man’s truck and a 72-hour mental health hold. After a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Judge Glen Conrad refused a request by law enforcement officials to dismiss the lawsuit brought by The Rutherford Institute on behalf of Benjamin Burruss.

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.

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