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November 29, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has voiced its opposition to a proposal that would give San Francisco police the power to kill using armed robots. 

November 23, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to rein in the government’s power to indiscriminately pick and choose the laws by which it will abide, especially as it relates to the Sixth Amendment rights of the accused in criminal cases.

November 18, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has called on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard the rights of the citizenry and the power of state courts against electoral power grabs and gerrymandering. In an amicus brief in Moore v. Harper, attorneys urge the Supreme Court to stay true to the Framers’ intent regarding federalism, which limits government by creating two sovereign and opposing powers (the national government and state governments) in order to act as a restraint on overreach by centralized powers and preserve the right of the people to choose their elected representatives.

November 04, 2022

Recognizing that the challenge before churches and other religious institutions today is in reconciling a moral calling to speak out on issues of the day, especially as they intersect with contemporary politics, with the need to maintain their tax-exempt nonprofit status, which limits their involvement in political campaigning or substantial lobbying, The Rutherford Institute has issued a public policy paper on “A Legacy of Faith, Activism and Revolution: Balancing the First Amendment Rights of Religious Ministries with 501(c)(3) Restrictions on Political Engagement.”

November 03, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has weighed in before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of an Ohio man who was arrested, jailed, had his apartment searched, and his phone and laptop seized by police in retaliation for mocking the police department on a parody Facebook page. In an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of Novak v. City of Parma, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that government officials should not be permitted to retaliate against citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights, nor should they be granted qualified immunity as a means of shielding them from accountability. 

October 21, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the government from criminalizing non-threatening political speech that may be annoying, embarrassing, or unpleasant. In an amicus brief filed in Counterman v. Colorado, Rutherford Institute attorneys warned against the ramifications of allowing the government to use overly broad stalking laws to treat expressive activities on social media as threats without having to prove that the messages are both reasonably understood as threatening an illegal act and intended by the speaker as a threat.

October 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a green light to police officers to use deadly force against drivers if police suspect they might pose a danger to others with their car. 

October 03, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has issued a public comment opposing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule on “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” which seeks to force healthcare workers to provide abortion and gender transition services, among other things. Institute attorneys warn that any attempt by the government to compel healthcare workers to provide services against their professional judgement, religious convictions, and conscience is unconstitutional.

September 27, 2022

In a First Amendment victory for political free speech, a state circuit court has overturned fines totaling $3000 against two protesters for displaying “F@#k Biden” and other political signs in violation of a Florida city’s ban on “indecent” speech, which the court found to be unconstitutional. 

September 23, 2022

Warning that misguided school zero-tolerance policies can have disastrous ramifications for students’ future academic prospects, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a North Carolina student who was denied admission to a charter school based on an improper and unlawful suspension in his records arising from an incident two years earlier.The incident arose in 2020 after the sixth grader was suspended from school and reported to police for possessing a look-alike weapon and making a threat after he briefly displayed a toy gun during a virtual Zoom class as part of a Halloween game when instructed by his teacher to look “scary.” Although school officials subsequently agreed to remove the unlawful suspension from the student’s record, they shared details of the incident two years later with a charter school to which the child was admitted. In once again coming to the student’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys warned that negligently distributing false information which causes harm to a student’s standing and reputation could constitute defamation.

August 27, 2022

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead will be one of the lead speakers at a national conference on the dangers of the American police state. The “Anatomy of a Police State” conference, sponsored by the Ron Paul Institute, will feature a broad array of speakers, including former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul and retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

August 25, 2022

The Rutherford Institute has called on the U.S. Supreme Court to rein in the government’s power to indiscriminately pick and choose the laws by which it will abide, especially as it relates to the rights of the accused in criminal cases. Weighing in before the Supreme Court in two cases, Khorrami v. Arizona and Smith v. United States, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging government efforts to undermine longstanding Sixth Amendment rights: namely, the right to have a trial by an impartial jury of twelve fellow citizens and to be tried in the district where the alleged crime was committed.

August 05, 2022

The Rutherford Institute is challenging an attempt by Texas officials to muzzle political viewpoints expressed in the form of boycotts and protests. Texas' anti-boycott law prohibits the government from doing business with companies that boycott or criticize Israel. Approximately 33 states have adopted laws that seek to punish those who criticize Israel by denying them government contracts.

July 28, 2022

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court throws into stark relief the racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct and systemic injustice at the core of Texas’ death penalty system. The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to allow DNA testing of evidence in Reed v. Goertz, a murder case that could exonerate a black death row inmate while implicating a white police officer for the murder of his own fiancé. In agreeing to hear the case, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide when prisoners can pursue post-conviction claims for DNA testing of crime scene evidence.

July 14, 2022

In the midst of politically polarizing rulings on abortion, gun rights and religion, the U.S. Supreme Court closed out its 2021-22 term with a handful of disparate rulings that served to further shield federal officials and police against lawsuits arising out of their misconduct, incompetence and brutality, undermine longstanding remedies for Miranda violations, and allow a death row inmate to seek death by a firing squad as an alternative form of execution.

July 07, 2022

By a 6-3 decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law which allowed government officials to pick and choose which class of citizens were deemed worthy of self-protection. Affirming that the Second Amendment “right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a second-class right,” the Court ruled that individuals do not have to demonstrate some special need to the government for approval before exercising any other constitutional rights.

June 27, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects a public high school coach’s right to kneel and silently pray on the school’s football field after a game. The 6-3 ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District comes more than a decade after The Rutherford Institute first asked the Court to safeguard the right of another high school football coach, Marcus Borden, to bow his head and take a knee during a student-led prayer.

June 10, 2022

Despite a lack of direct evidence that a suspect was engaged in ongoing illegal activities, a court sentenced the man to five years in prison based in part on the frequency of his visits to a barbershop where drugs were being sold. Weighing in before the U.S. Supreme Court in Tucker v. U.S., The Rutherford Institute warns that convictions based on government conspiracy theories and speculative calculations rather than clear-cut proof will render every American a criminal who has the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

June 03, 2022

The City of Houston has recently adopted an ordinance that requires private businesses to purchase and install digital surveillance cameras that carry out round-the-clock, citywide surveillance on the populace while “allowing” police to access the footage at any time, for any reason, and without the need of a court-issued warrant.

May 16, 2022

The Rutherford Institute is challenging attempts by a Texas school district to prohibit its employees from publicly criticizing the school or its policies. In a letter to officials at the Carroll Independent School District, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn that the non-disparagement clause included in the District’s employment contracts, which requires employees to “agree to not disparage, criticize, or defame the District, and its employees or officials, to the media,” constitutes a restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment that would likely not hold up in court.

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