Author Archive

John Whitehead

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.

DENVER, Colo. — Defying clearly established First Amendment jurisprudence that protects the right to record police in public without fear of retaliation, a federal appeals court has given police the green light to intimidate and threaten individuals who record police brutality and misconduct. In dismissing a lawsuit by a man …

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will …

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Rutherford Institute has issued an in-depth report on the impact of the nation’s response to the pandemic on civil liberties. The report, “Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19,” analyzes the various tactics employed by federal and …

“The remedy is worse than the disease.”—Francis Bacon One way or another, the majority of Americans will survive COVID-19. It remains to be seen, however, whether our freedoms will survive the tyranny of the government’s heavy-handed response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, now that the government has gotten a taste …

“Americans deserve the freedom to choose a life without surveillance and the government regulation that would make that possible. While we continue to believe the sentiment, we fear it may soon be obsolete or irrelevant. We deserve that freedom, but the window to achieve it narrows a little more each day. If …

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of a broader push for criminal justice reform, a wide-ranging coalition of civil liberties and public policy groups, as well as a bipartisan group of senators, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that individuals subjected to discriminatory drug laws that disproportionately, by a …

WASHINGTON, D.C. —In a victory for the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a college student cited by campus police for “disorderly conduct” for speaking about his Christian faith and distributing religious literature on campus can sue officials for violating his free speech rights. In its 8-1 decision …

“How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and … forcibly enter?”—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the lone dissenter in Kentucky v. King Americans are not safe in their homes. Not anymore, at least. This present menace comes from the …

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a case that tests the limits of digital privacy, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block an attempt by the government to force Americans to allow police carte blanche access to the contents of their cell phones and electronic devices by disclosing …

“Police fail to grasp that they are public servants for peace. They should provide a civil service, to enforce the laws equally, without bias and with discretion. They must understand that they do not have immunity or special privileges and — most importantly — are just responsible for apprehending suspects, …