Case Summaries

Aposhian v. Garland

CASE SUMMARY – Firearms instructor W. Clark Aposhian of Utah is a law-abiding citizen, but under the “Bump-Stock-Type Devices” Final Rule, on March 26th, 2019, he would have become a felon subject to a 10-year prison sentence unless he…

Broadway v. U.S.

CASE SUMMARY – Mr. Broadway is challenging the lower court’s use of “Stinson deference” to sentence him as a “career offender” based on language in interpretive commentary issued by the United States Sentencing Commission that does not appear in the Sentencing Guidelines themselves.

Brown v. CDC

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA’s complaint asks the court to stop the agency from enforcing the unlawful order that—among other problems—violates the right to access the courts, exceeds limits on the Supremacy Clause, raises serious non-delegation doctrine concerns, and implicates anti-commandeering principles and precedents.

Cargill v. Garland

CASE SUMMARY –  May a federal agency rewrite a federal statute? May that rewrite turn otherwise innocent Americans into criminals overnight?

Cerame v. Bowler

CASE SUMMARY – ​Connecticut has adopted an amendment to its Rules of Professional conduct for Connecticut-licensed lawyers that includes unconstitutional and impermissibly vague language governing speech by lawyers.

CFPB v. Law Offices of Crystal Moroney

CASE SUMMARY – The New Civil Liberties Alliance has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the funding mechanism for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as unconstitutional…

Desrosiers v. Baker

CASE SUMMARY – In response to the serious health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency under the Massachusetts Civil Defense Act to justify imposing draconian, “one-size-fits-all” measures across the Commonwealth…

Cochran v. SEC

CASE SUMMARY –  James Madison once said that the concentration of all government powers in one branch is “the very definition of tyranny.” Yet, today, administrative agencies regularly exercise all three of those powers…


CASE SUMMARY – This is a case of whether a random person on Twitter can claim ‘unfair labor practice’ because a Tweet did not sit well with them. Individuals who are not directly impacted by the consequences of a comment on social media should not be allowed to co-opt the…

Fleming v. The Daily Wire

CASE SUMMARY – In a victory for social media users everywhere, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has cleared Ben Shapiro, Co-Founder and Editor Emeritus of The Daily Wire, of a meritless charge. A random Twitter user had claimed that Mr. Shapiro violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when he posted a satirical tweet about a current news event. NCLA successfully defended The Daily Wire, LLC during pre-complaint investigations conducted by NLRB, resulting in a dismissal of the charge.

Fleming v. USDA

CASE SUMMARY – A two-judge majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred when it refused to address the constitutionality of the multiple layers of for-cause removal protection enjoyed by administrative law judges (ALJs) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The court remanded the issue back to USDA…

Harper v. Rettig

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA represents Mr. Harper before the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Mr. Harper’s “crime”? Holding a bitcoin wallet. The lawsuit argues that the IRS has acquired the unbridled power to demand and seize Americans’ private financial information from third parties without any judicial process…

Hennis v. U.S.

CASE SUMMARY – Easily one of the largest environmental catastrophes EPA ever created, the incident became known as “the yellow river seen round the world.” NCLA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, challenging the government’s physical invasion, occupancy, use, taking, and contamination of Mr. Hennis’s property.

IHMPACT v. Buttigieg

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a lawsuit against Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg for revoking Department of Transportation (DOT) rules that expanded and protected due process during agency enforcement actions. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of the Institute for Hazardous Materials Packaging and Certification Testing, Inc.

Johnson v. Murphy

CASE SUMMARY – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy chose economic winners and losers with Executive Order No. 128 (EO 128), an unconstitutional mandate that forces residential housing providers to credit tenants’ security deposits toward rent payments. ​

KC Tenants v. Byrn

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a Motion to Intervene and a response in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. NCLA’s representation gives a voice to Missouri housing providers who are sidelined and suffering significant harm due to unpaid rent and monthly maintenance costs.

Kravitz v. Murphy

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed the complaint against Governor Murphy in the Cumberland County Superior Court of New Jersey, challenging Executive Order No. 128. The order, which NCLA is also challenging on federal constitutional ground in Johnson v. Murphy, also violates the New Jersey Constitution by re-writing private contracts and the state’s landlord-tenant laws.

Martinez-Brooks v. Garland

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA seeks to obtain declaratory relief and to halt DOJ’s effort to disregard prior court decisions on prison alternatives for nonviolent and medically vulnerable people.

Mas Canosa v. Coral Gables

CASE SUMMARY –  Coral Gables is an upscale, historic municipality of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Residents take pride in their tree-lined streets and so they call it “City Beautiful.” But the city has now lined the streets with Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs)…

Mexican Gulf Fishing Company v. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

CASE SUMMARY – The U.S. government is trying to force charter boats and companies that take customers fishing and sightseeing in the Gulf of Mexico to purchase a vessel monitoring system (VMS). Federal agencies will use the VMS tracking devices to monitor boats’ movements…

Milice v. Consumer Product Safety Commission

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed an opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of client Lisa Milice against the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). NCLA is helping Milice, a new mother, challenge CPSC’s practice of keeping consumer product safety standards hidden behind a private paywall.

Mossman v. CDC

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on behalf of Asa Mossman of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and many other blameless housing providers left powerless against the CDC’s lawless order.

MoveCorp v. Small Business Administration

CASE SUMMARY – The outbreak of COVID-19 and the government’s response to that virus have decimated the American economy. To help mitigate the economic damage and keep small businesses afloat during these unprecedented times, the United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act…

National Center for Public Policy Research v. SEC

CASE SUMMARY – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is receiving pushback over its recent approval of Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Rules, which require all companies listed on the exchange to not only publicly disclose board diversity statistics but also explain failures to meet new diversity requirements. NCLA filed a Petition for Review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Norris v. Michigan State University

CASE SUMMARY – Jeanna Norris is a supervisory Administrative Associate and Fiscal Officer at Michigan State University (MSU). She has naturally-acquired immunity to COVID-19 after recovering from the virus late last year. However, the university has threatened disciplinary action, even termination, if she and other employees do not comply with the school’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Phillip B. v. Faust 

CASE SUMMARY – Mr. B. worked as a caregiver at New Horizons, a group home housing male children. On the morning of June 23, 2018, Mr. B. and Mr. Lam L., another caregiver employed by New Horizons, were on duty at the group home when an alleged child-abuse incident occurred relating to G.C., a 13-year-old resident of the group home…

Polyweave Packaging v. Buttigieg

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a lawsuit against Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg for revoking Department of Transportation (DOT) rules that expanded and protected due process during agency enforcement actions. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on behalf of Polyweave Packaging, Inc.


CASE SUMMARY – Federal agencies have exponentially expanded their authority by engaging in the common-place tactic of issuing informal interpretations, fact sheets, and other forms of “guidance,” the practical outcome of which is to surreptitiously force the regulated community to comply with a variety of “policy positions” that are not legally mandatory…

Relentless v. Department of Commerce 

CASE SUMMARY – The suit challenges the agencies’ unconstitutional and statutorily unauthorized effort to force fishing companies to pay for a new agency enforcement program. NCLA represents Relentless Inc., Huntress Inc. and their related company, Seafreeze Fleet LLC, in this facial challenge to DOC/NOAA’s newly promulgated rule…

Reid v. James Madison University

CASE SUMMARY – Ms. Reid was a nationally recognized debater employed by JMU as a full-time faculty member and Assistant Director of the “Individual Events Team” to assist with coaching, tournament travel, and community outreach. She was on track to obtain her dream job as head coach of the team. In December 2018, Ms. Reid’s ex-girlfriend, a fellow coach at JMU, lodged an unfounded and ambiguous “Title IX Statement” against Ms. Reid with JMU.

Rodden v. Fauci

CASE SUMMARY – Federal workers with naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 filed a class-action lawsuit against their employer, the U.S. government, as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, the group designated to act as the intermediate enforcer of the executive order mandating that all federal employees get vaccinated.

Romeril v. SEC

CASE SUMMARY – When Barry D. Romeril settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June of 2003 he didn’t know he would live to regret it 16 years later. That is because order to settle his…

SEC v. Novinger

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a Motion for Relief from Judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of Mr. Novinger and ICAN, challenging the constitutionality of the SEC Gag Order that continues to hold them—and the truth—hostage.

SEC v. Spartan Securities Group

CASE SUMMARY – The SEC alleges that market-makers Spartan, and transfer agent Island, were involved in filing Form 211 applications with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to publicly list 19 issuers’ common stock to be traded and available to investors.

Taha v. United States

CASE SUMMARY – Mr. Mohamed E. Taha (deceased) and his widow Ms. Sanaa M. Yassin filed a tax refund claim seeking refund of taxes paid in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claimed it never received the filing. The Court of Federal Claims conducted a trial on the question of whether Mr. Ali Taha (who is authorized to act on behalf of his deceased brother and his brother’s wife) had mailed the tax refund claim to IRS…

The Property Management Connection v. Uejio

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a lawsuit and motion for temporary restraining order against CFPB in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for doubling down on the unlawful Halt Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last September. NCLA represents The Property Management Connection, LLC, attorney Gordon Schoeffler, and the National Association of Residential Property Managers.​

Vengalattore v. Cornell University

CASE SUMMARY – Dr. Vengalattore was a tenure-track professor of physics at Cornell University with an impressive history of conducting ground-breaking research. After a graduate student left his program for academic reasons, the student falsely accused Dr. Vengalattore of sexual harassment…

Walsh v. Hodge

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Fifth Circuit’s expansion of the qualified immunity doctrine and thereby to resolve two separate splits of authority in the federal courts of appeals.

Zywicki v. GMU

CASE SUMMARY – George Mason University (GMU) is threatening students, faculty, and staff with disciplinary action that includes “unpaid leave or possible loss of employment” for faculty if they don’t comply with the public university’s vaccine mandate. NCLA filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of Antonin Scalia Law School Professor Todd Zywicki.

More Case Summaries are coming soon. For information on all our cases visit NCLA’s Legal Action page.

Closed Cases

Asphalt Specialties v. Laramie County Planning Commission

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA is pushing back against the Laramie County Planning Commission with an appeal challenging the Commission’s unlawful decision to treat a mere “vision” document like restrictive zoning rules. The Commission did not comply with statutory requirements for zoning.

Baldwin v. U.S.

CASE SUMMARY – Howard and Karen Baldwin, who produced the critically acclaimed movie Ray(2004) based on Ray Charles’ life, had filed a claim for the refund of their 2005 income tax. Four months before the deadline to claim a refund, they mailed a refund claim to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to recover approximately $168,000 in overpaid taxes by regular United States mail…

Carmen’s Corner Store v. Small Business Administration

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. NCLA represents Altimont Mark Wilks, a small business owner from Hagerstown, Md., who was unlawfully barred from applying for PPP loans because he is still on probation. The suit challenges unlawful portions of the agency’s Interim Final Rule that purports…

Gibson v. SEC

CASE SUMMARY – The case of Christopher M. Gibson v. SEC. Mr. Gibson’s case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is disturbingly similar to scores of cases where that agency insists on putting people through pointless administrative proceedings…

Gubbels v. USDA

CASE SUMMARY – NCLA filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. The case, Kevin Gubbels and Insure My Honey, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Risk Management Agency, was filed against the U.S. Department of Agriculture…

Lucia v. SEC

CASE SUMMARY – The New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a complaint seeking declarative and injunctive relief against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in the case of Ray Lucia and his…

New Mexico v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver

CASE SUMMARY –  In 2017, the New Mexico Legislature passed Senate Bill 96 (SB96), but Governor Susana Martinez promptly vetoed it. On the very same day of the Governor’s veto, New Mexico’s Secretary of State declared that she would make the policies and provisions of SB96 law through rulemaking…

Shipp v. Bureau of Prisons

CASE SUMMARY –  In December 2018 the president signed the First Step Act into law. The act was a bi-partisan criminal justice reform bill, that, among other things increased the amount of merit time deductions from his sentence a federal prisoner could earn each year for good behavior…