March 14, 2019

How we’ve moved a whole branch of government in a libertarian direction

Downsize DC keeps moving a branch of government in a libertarian direction Retweet

NOTE: Donors to the Zodhiates brief are listed in the P.S.

We lobby Congress, but we also make arguments to the judicial branch, especially the Supreme Court. The results have been fabulous!

Zero Aggression Project donors and subscribers have heard this. But I want to make sure our supporters know it too. Here’s the scoop… 

Our judicial strategy achieved big things in 2018!

First, we filed 8 amicus curiae briefs…

  1. Jan. #FreeRoss Ulbricht/Silk Road (Sentence reduction or release, 4th & 6th Amendments)
  2. Jan. NIFLA v Becerra (Opposing “compelled speech”)
  3. Mar. U.S. v Ackerman (Do you own your emails?)
  4. Apr. IFS v Becerra (Compelled donor disclosure by non-profits)
  5. May Texas v U.S. (Repeal Obamacare)
  6. May U.S. v Gundy (Overturn the administrative state, just like the Write the Laws Act)
  7. Sept. U.S. v Zodhiates (The first test case for Carpenter)
  8. Oct. AFPF v Becerra (Free press argument against non-profit donor disclosures)

Even better, we also had three victories last year, based on even earlier work!

The Carpenter case is being called a “landmark.”

Prosecutors have been snagging records of your movements from your phone provider without a warrant. They’ve used something called the “third party” doctrine. Is that constitutional? We argued no, and won!

The Chief Justice wrote a sweeping decision “beefing up” the privacy side of the Fourth Amendment. We also loved Justice Gorsuch’s concurring dissent. It was a judicial tutorial rebutting the State’s behavior on a property (instead of privacy) basis. The Gorsuch reasoning fits in perfectly with another landmark victory we had years ago in the Jones case.

The Carpenter victory is especially gratifying because we’ve filed THREE previous briefs attacking the “third party doctrine.” Plus, the Carpenter decision is likely to rule for a long time to come. As one expert put it, “From now on, we’ll be talking about what the Fourth Amendment means in pre-Carpenter and post-Carpenter terms.”

We also had a victory in Collins v. Virginia!

That case questioned whether cops can enter your yard, lift a tarp, and gather vehicle information without a warrant. We filed two briefs in Collins, including the ONLY amicus brief that asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. First, we won that request, and then we won in the case itself!

Justice Sotomayor went out of her way to expand privacy considerations while avoiding the property rights implications of our previous victory in Jones. This is evidence of just how much the Left hates property rights. Even so, we’ll still take the win. Privacy rights need protection too! Finally…

We filed the ONLY amicus brief calling for the repeal of Obamacare in Texas v. U.S.

That case has been expedited from the district-level to the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court. We intend to file further amicus briefs in this case.

And others!

We believe these briefs are the most high-leverage thing we do. Please help us use this amicus brief strategy more often.

  • Make as large a one-time donation as you can, or…
  • Start a monthly pledge to support this work!


Thank you for being an ACTIVE DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President,, Inc.

P.S. We want to thank the recent Zodhiates Fourth Amendment amicus brief donors… John Sparduto, Joe Cobb, James Wilson, Charles Watson, Roger Leahy, Richard Loomis, Travis Walston, James Troy, Vivian Wadlin, John Tobin, Trucia Quistarc, James Keeler, Steven Dusterwald, Larry Upshaw, Michael Rosing, Steven Schram, George Hanson, Dwight Underhill, Denny Muscato, Kit Arbuckle, and others who requested anonymity.

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