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Amicus Curiae Briefs

The Center has participated as amicus curiae in a number of cases involving constitutional issues


CENTER'S LEGAL ACTIVITIES INDEX:
Click on the links below to learn more about the Center’s legal activities: LitigationAmicus BriefsPolicy Papers

Corporate America's Right to Free Speech:
Center Files Brief with Supreme Court in Nike Case

Arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should either clarify or abandon existing commercial speech doctrine, the Center for Individual Freedom today files an amicus brief before the High Court in Nike, Inc. v. Kasky...[more]


Center Files Amicus Brief on Affirmative Action in U.S. Supreme Court

Arguing that affirmative action admissions programs violate both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Center for Individual Freedom filed an amicus brief on January 16 urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the racial and ethnic preferences used by the University of Michiganís undergraduate and law schools in their admissions...[more]


Center Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court In Nike Commercial Speech Case

Arguing that remarkable and immediate damage to First Amendment interests are at continued risk, the Center for Individual Freedom today files an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review in Nike, Inc. v. Kasky...[more]


Hand-Slapping Opinion Issued in Sexual Harassment Case:
Burns v. City of Detroit Update

Many avid court-watchers take pleasure in reading the frequent hand-slapping opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts as they issue decisions on appeal from lower courts. Much like a parent-child disciplinary situation, it is not often, if ever, that the reverse occurs, with a lower court slapping the hand of a higher court. But that’s what appears to have happened recently in a decision of a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals...[more]


Center Files Brief on Behalf of Tattoo Artist

White continues to challenge both his conviction and the statute on the grounds that banning the art of tattooing violates his constitutionally protected right of free expression....[more]

To download the brief, please click here.


Center files Amicus Brief in Support of Free Speech

On April 10, 2002, the Center for Individual Freedom filed an amicus curiae brief in the Michigan Court of Appeals, supporting the constitutional right of free speech of both employees and employers in a hostile workplace environment lawsuit...[more]

To download the brief, please click here.


Center Files Brief on Behalf of Vanessa Leggett

The Center for Individual Freedom has filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in support of Vanessa Leggett’s petition asking the Court to hear her case...[more]

To download the brief, please click here.


Center Files Amicus Brief in Ninth Circuit Campaign Finance Case

On January 14, 2002, the Center for Individual Freedom, joined by the James Madison Center for Free Speech, filed an amicus brief in support of the Lincoln Club of Orange County’s request for rehearing in its case against the City of Irvine, California. The case, before a panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, challenges the city’s campaign finance law on the grounds that it violates the rights of freedom of speech and free association...[more]

To download the brief, please click here.


Center for Individual Freedom Files Amicus Brief in Employment Discrimination Case before U.S. Supreme Court

On December 21, 2001, the Center for Individual Freedom filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the corporate respondent in Swierkiewicz v. Sorema, an employment discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case addresses the question whether a complaint alleging claims of national origin and age discrimination against the employer was properly dismissed for failure to state a claim...[more]

To read the brief, please click here.


Center Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Anonymity Case

In Watchtower v. Stratton, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether there is a constitutional right to anonymity for door-to-door solicitors. The case stems from an attempt by the Village of Stratton, Ohio, to require solicitors of all types to first obtain permits before going door-to-door in the village. The issue on appeal is whether the First Amendment shields solicitors from having to disclose their names and addresses in the permit process and display their names on the permits if asked by a person to whom they are speaking…[more]

To read the Center’s brief, please click here.


CIF Files Amicus Brief Arguing That Ohio’s School Voucher Program Does Not Violate the First Amendment

On November 9, 2001, the Center filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, arguing that Ohio’s school voucher program does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The statewide program allows low-income parents to use publicly financed vouchers as tuition to send their children to private schools, whether they be religious or secular in nature.

To view the Center’s amicus brief, please click here.


CIF Files Amicus Brief in Compelled Speech Case Before U.S. Supreme Court

In United States v. United Foods, Inc., No. 00-276 (U.S. Supreme Court), the Center filed an amicus brief arguing that a federal law administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that compelled mushroom producers and processors to fund generic advertising for mushrooms violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Center also argued that if the Supreme Court were to view this case as involving the government's own speech, the appropriate First Amendment test should remain the same as applied to other forms of compelled speech....[more]

Click Here to View CFIF's Brief 231Kb
Click Here to View United Foods Brief 399Kb

    Update: Supreme Court Finds Mandatory Ad Campaign Unconstitutional

    In the long-awaited decision in United States v. United Foods, Inc., the Supreme Court took significant strides in undoing some of the damage caused by its much-criticized 1997 decision in Glickman v. Wileman Brothers & Elliot. In scoring a victory for the First Amendment, The Court held, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, that a federal statute requiring mushroom growers to pay for generic advertisements to promote mushrooms violated the First Amendment bycompelling support for speech with which at least some of the growers disagreed.


    To read the Supreme Court’s decision, click here.


CIF Files Amicus Brief Against California Mandatory Plum Advertising Program

In Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Veneman, No. S080610, (Calif. Supreme Court), the Center filed an amicus brief arguing that a California program compelling fruit growers to finance generic advertising of fruits – thus forcing them to speak – violated both the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the free speech clause of the California State Constitution.

Click Here to View Brief 181Kb

Update: The California Supreme Court found that the program violated the state constitutional protections for free speech and remanded the case to the court below on November 27, 2000


CIF Files Amicus Brief in Separation of Powers Case Before Supreme Court

In Whitman v. American Trucking Association, No. 99-1257 (U.S. Supreme Court), the Center filed an amicus brief arguing that the sweeping delegation to the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards provided insufficient guidance to the agency, allowed the agency to make value and policy choices that were required to be made by Congress, and thus constituted an improper delegation of legislative power to an executive branch agency. The Center noted that the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches is an important structural protection for individual freedom that was built into the U.S. Constitution as a means of checking the exercise of governement power.

Click Here to View Brief 232Kb

Update: On February 27, 2001, the Supreme Court upheld the EPA's authority to enact the clean air standards. However, the Court placed important restraints on the agency's regulatory authority by stating that future standards enacted by the agency in order to protect public health should be "sufficient, but not more than necessary."

Click Here
to View the U.S. Supreme Court Opinion


Center Files Amicus Brief in 11th Circuit Judicial Speech Case

In Butler v. Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, No. 00-14137-DD (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir.), the Center has submitted an amicus brief arguing that restrictions on the content of campaign speech by candidates for state judicial office violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The restrictions at issue were preliminarily enjoined by a federal district court and that preliminary injunction is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Click Here to View Brief 239Kb

Update: Both sides have filed all briefs with the court and argument was heard on January 22, 2001. A motion for leave to file the Center's amicus brief is currently pending before the court.

    Update: Alabama Supreme Court Rules That Campaign Speech Restrictions on Judicial Candidates Violate the First Amendment

    The Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of Supreme Court Justice Harold See on May 15, 2001, stating that Canon 7B.(2) of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics is facially unconstitutional and that Canon 2A is unconstitutional as applied in Justice See’s case against the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). The case comes before the Alabama Supreme Court following certification to it of three questions of state law from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Court of Appeals certified three questions to the Supreme Court of Alabama to assist it in determining whether to abstain from deciding federal constitutional issues, in deference to state proceedings...[more]

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