Amicus Briefs

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February 19, 2021

The Fourth Amendment Defends Liberty by Securing Property from Government Invasions

Caniglia v. Strom

This case is about whether the police have the right to enter your home without a warrant while you're away and confiscate your property under the guise of "community caretaking." If they have the power to do this, as the First Circuit Court of Appeals said, then every person's home is less secure against arbitrary government trespasses with every ...

February 17, 2021

To ensure accountability, powerful government officials must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

United States v. Arthrex, Inc

Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) hear administrative trials concerning patent disputes and, in the process, exercise powers similar to those of federal judges. APJs may issue subpoenas to require testimony and documentation, rule on the parties' evidentiary arguments, and issue thousands of final decisions each year—decisions that bind the pr ...

February 16, 2021

The Voting Rights Act Guarantees Equal Opportunity to Vote, Not Equal Racial Outcomes

Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee

This case is centered on the proper interpretation of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Specifically, whether Section 2 of the Act should be read to prohibit almost any state election regulation that produces some racially disparate impact. If the Ninth Circuit was correct that it does, race will necessarily take center stage in eve ...

February 16, 2021

Constitutional challenges must be heard by courts of law

Carr v. Saul & Davis v. Saul

The ALJ himself cannot resolve that question. Therefore, does a challenger still have to raise the issue to the ALJ in the first instance, or may a challenger wait until the matter goes to federal court? Courts have often held that, if someone does not raise an issue during an ALJ proceeding—even a constitutional issue ...

January 21, 2021

Protecting donors’ right to anonymity is a pressing First Amendment concern

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra

This case is about whether the State of California may demand that every nonprofit organization that solicits funds in California hand over an unredacted form that contains the names and addresses of all donors who give $5,000 or more in a year Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots-focused nonprofit, refused, but the Ninth Circuit ultimately he ...

September 23, 2020

Courts should give relief to those hurt by illegal agency actions

Collins v. Yellen

After the mortgage crisis in the early 2000s, Congress created the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to regulate federal home loans. The FHFA is headed by a single director, who serves for a period of five years and cannot be removed by the President except for cause. Exercising its vast powers, the FHFA adopted a regulation that prevented the ...

September 02, 2020

Nominal damages ensure more than symbolic vindication of constitutional rights

Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski

In Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, the Supreme Court will decide whether the government can moot a civil rights case by rescinding its unconstitutional policy after being sued, even though the plaintiff seeks nominal damages for a past, completed constitutional injury—in this case, a college student's First Amendment right to speak freely on campus. Th ...

July 08, 2020

California Can’t Arbitrarily Force People to Be Employees

Olson v. State of California

If the fundamental change in California's labor market wasn't bad enough, the legislature also exempted many groups of workers and professionals, seemingly at random. In PLF's friend-of-the-court brief, we argue that the Ninth Circuit should reverse a district court decision denying a preliminary injunction sought by a group of Uber and Postmates d ...

April 21, 2020

Ending discrimination against Asian-Americans at Harvard

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard

Can Harvard University discriminate against Asian American applicants in its admissions process? Federal civil rights law requires Harvard, which accepts federal funding, to comply with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, last October, a federal district court held that Harvard's admissions process ...