Amicus Efforts: Connecting Clients and Amplifying Voices

Featuring Post-Janus Labor Work in the U.S. Supreme Court. We were asked by two top law firms to help convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their cases seeking to extend the reach of the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision. First, we worked with the premier D.C. firm Consovoy McCarthy to secure a party for an amicus brief in Jarchow v. State Bar of Wisconsin, a case filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. In that case, WILL asks the court to vindicate the First Amendment speech and association rights of lawyers and allow them to practice law without joining state-sponsored bar associations, which engage in lobbying on inherently political and ideological issues.

The legal team at Consovoy wanted the Supreme Court to consider the unique argument that bar associations are capable of thriving even when the government doesn’t compel membership. Currently, more than 20 states do not have mandatory bars. To make this argument, the lawyers needed a compelling client. We identified and secured the Government Justice Center in New York, a state with a very successful voluntary bar association, to lead Consovoy’s brief. But our work didn’t stop there. We recruited five other legal and policy groups that agree that mandatory bar associations are unnecessary and unconstitutional: Alaska Policy Forum, James Madison Institute, John Locke Foundation, Nevada Policy Research Institute, and Pelican Institute for Public Policy. Six groups across the country joining together on one amicus brief communicates a strong message to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Jarchow case raises important national issues that should be heard. Without the important voice of groups like the Government Justice Center and their allies — and without the work of American Juris Link to track these opportunities and match the right clients with the right lawyers — the Supreme Court would never see these compelling arguments.

Read: Government Justice Center’s amicus brief

Track: Jarchow v. State Bar of Wisconsin

In another important post-Janus case last month, we worked with accomplished attorney Erik Jaffe to support Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, a case filed by the Buckeye Institute. Buckeye challenges state laws that appoint a union to represent and speak for workers who disagree with it — an arrangement known as exclusive representation. Professor Jonathan Reisman, a non-member of the faculty’s labor union in Maine, has major disagreements with his union; yet nonetheless he is required by state law to associate with it and to allow it to speak for him. We recruited the Maine Heritage Policy Center to voice support for Professor Reisman’s First Amendment rights in the Supreme Court. Then, we secured 12 additional groups from across the country to sign on to the brief, including Alaska Policy Forum, Americans for Tax Reform, California Policy Center, Center for Worker Freedom, Empire Center for Public Policy, James Madison Institute, John Locke Foundation, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Mississippi Justice Institute, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Pelican Institute for Public Policy, and Washington Policy Center. Large national coalitions represented by prestigious lawyers have a proven track record of improving the odds that the Court will grant review.

Read: Maine Heritage Policy Center’s amicus brief

Track: Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine

Local Counsel: Connecting National Experts to Local Attorneys

Featuring Nontraditional Alliances for Criminal Justice Reform in Pennsylvania. In a nontraditional alliance, Americans for Prosperity drafted an amicus brief to support a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia Community Bail Fund v. Commonwealth, ACLU-PA aims to stop Philadelphia court magistrates from routinely requiring bail for defendants to avoid jail before trial or conviction. AFP prepared an amicus brief explaining that pretrial detention is antithetical to a free society and the rule of law, and it reverses the presumption of innocence. Liberty should be the norm for unconvicted defendants, and imposing a financial barrier punishes those of lesser means — even if they are not a flight risk or dangerous to the community. AFP could not present their arguments to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court without local counsel, so they called us for help. We identified and helped secure Goldstein Law Partners, a Pennsylvania firm with significant constitutional, civil rights, and litigation experience in the state and a strong ally for conservative values, to partner together with AFP.

Read: Americans for Prosperity’s amicus brief

Track: Philadelphia Community Bail Fund v. Commonwealth

Expanding Legal Communities: Connecting Attorneys Together

Featuring The Heritage Foundation Supreme Court Alert Network. As many of the folks receiving this newsletter know, for years The Heritage Foundation has operated a Supreme Court Alert Network for the freedom-based public interest law movement. Through this network, Heritage’s legal scholars provide rapid reviews of Supreme Court opinions, as well as organize Amicus Curiae Conferences for approximately 25 important cases for the conservative movement every year. We have linked eight lawyers who are new to the community (with more on the way!) to Heritage’s Network so they can take advantage of these special resources. Because of this connection, new lawyers can stay apprised of the legal landscape, seize opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t know about, and combine and unify their efforts with allies across the country.

New Legal Centers Advancing Liberty and the Rule of Law

A “New Judicial Generation.” New judges are being appointed in record numbers to defend constitutional order. Major news outlets like RealClear Politics and the Wall Street Journal continue to report on the potential impact of this “new judicial generation.” Opportunities in the courtroom are abundant, and public interest litigation is growing. Congratulations to the following public interest legal centers that launched last year to help secure long-lasting precedents for freedom and the rule of law:

We are pleased to have assisted these groups with their unique start-up needs, from structure and operations, to hiring and case referrals. We are helping these new groups execute their important legal work faster, better, and with the highest potential for success. We look forward to their future victories for freedom. Please join us in welcoming them to the community!

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Do you know a current or former litigator who might be a good fit to join our team at American Juris Link? We’re hiring for a virtual position! Free market lawyers also might be interested in these opportunities:

  • Constitutional Litigation Attorneys – Pacific Legal Foundation (Multiple Locations)
  • Deputy Legal Policy Director – Pacific Legal Foundation (Virginia)
  • Director of Litigation/Senior Litigator – The Buckeye Institute (Ohio)
  • General Counsel – Young American’s Foundation (Virginia)
  • Staff Attorney – 1851 Center for Constitutional Law (Ohio)

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