About Landmark Legal

Landmark Legal Foundation is a national public interest law firm committed to preserving the principles of limited government, separation of powers, and federalism.  Landmark advances an “originalist” approach to the Constitution — that the words in the Constitution mean what they meant at the Founding — and defends our nation’s bedrock principle of liberty.

Border Security, election integrity, and defending the Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine are the Foundation’s program priorities.  We fight for liberty.  We fight for the Rule of Law.  And we fight for you.

Please take some time to look through our website and review some of our most important work.  We appreciate and rely on the financial support of thousands of Americans across the nation.  Please feel free to join our email update list and, if you are able, to join our small army of supporters.

Landmark Legal Foundation

Milestones

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1976

Great Plains Legal Foundation established in Kansas City, Missouri.  First President was future U.S. Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond.

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1976-1980

Great Plains fought the Carter Administration’s massive regulatory agenda through public education, agency comments, and litigation.

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1983

Great Plains merges with Gulf States Legal Foundation to form Great Plains and Gulf States Legal Foundation.

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1986

Great Plains/Gulf States becomes Landmark Legal Foundation.

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1986

Landmark successfully challenges Omaha, Nebraska’s city ordinance granting the local plumber’s union authority to issue plumbing licenses.  The case is decided by the Eighth Circuit of Appeals and clears the way for independent plumbers throughout the Midwest to operate their businesses free from union interference and corruption.

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1987-1994

Landmark represents Kansas City, Missouri taxpayers in the public school system’s desegregation litigation.  The Foundation successfully challenged a federal district judge’s direct levy of income and property taxes to finance desegregation costs.  Later, Landmark represented local parents and African American organizations (including the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Urban League) challenging the district court’s quota system.

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1990-2002

The nation’s first school choice program, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Plan, is defended by Landmark Legal Foundation.  Throughout the litigation, Landmark represented the program’s author, State Representative Annette “Polly” Williams.  Beginning in 1996, the Foundation fought for and won an expansion in the program to allow children access to religious schools, which greatly expanded school choice in Milwaukee.

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1992-Present

Mark Levin joins Landmark Legal Foundation.  Levin serves as the Foundation’s president and board of director member from 1996-2017.  Mark currently leads Landmark’s board of directors.

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1994-2002

In response to a wave of political scandals in the Clinton Administration, Landmark used the Freedom of Information Act, litigation, public education, and regular media appearances to educate the public and defend the Rule of Law against abuses by administration officials, including Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Landmark was prominent in matters ranging from Clinton Impeachment; the Whitewater and Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan frauds; the FBI files abuses; the Travel Office Firings; the President’s obstruction of justice in civil litigation; and more.

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1996-2000

The Foundation sought public records from the EPA relating to improper environmental special interest group influence over the Clinton Administration’s regulations and litigation activities.  EPA violated a federal district court order to preserve EPA administrator Carol Browner’s computer hard drive.  The EPA destroyed Browner’s and other senior EPA officials’ computer records hours after Landmark secured a restraining order.  Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the EPA to pay Landmark $210,000 in attorney’s fees.

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1997-2002

Efforts by the Clinton Administration and members of Congress waged a campaign of intimidation against conservative groups by secretly demanding that the IRS conduct politically motivated audits.  Landmark exposed the scandal through the Freedom of Information Act and federal litigation.

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1998-2005

Landmark conducted a series of investigations into unreported political expenditures by the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers’ during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The Foundation’s efforts led to a multi-year audit of the NEA’s tax returns and to the reporting of tens of millions of dollars in previously secret political expenditures by both unions.

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2004-2010

The Foundation’s investigations into unreported teacher union political expenditures expanded into state and local unions.  Our work discovered that numerous affiliates spent millions of dollars on taxable political activities without reporting them to the IRS as required by law.  Many faced fines, penalties, and IRS audits.

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2005-2007

Landmark sought and published public records regarding attacks by Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees against American personnel.  Our work revealed multiple dangerous attacks during a time when the U.S. media obsessed over detainee treatment.

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2007-2012

Landmark investigated “Labor Centers” at public universities including the University of Wisconsin, University of California-Berkley, University of Iowa, and many more.  In case after case, the Foundation found that these centers improperly used millions of taxpayer dollars to train labor union members to become political activists.  We reported our findings to legislators and in many states fundamental reforms resulted, including the elimination of the program at Evergreen College in Washington State.

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2011-2012

Obamacare Litigation.  Landmark argued at all levels of federal court that the individual mandate as a violation of the Commerce Clause.  Once an appellate judge wrote in a concurring opinion in one of the many Obamacare challenges that the individual mandate might be upheld as a tax, Landmark turned its attention to that issue.  In his infamous decision upholding Obamacare, Chief Justice Roberts and the four liberals then on the Court agreed with the tax theory.  Landmark was one of only two (out of nearly 200 friend of the court briefs filed in the case) parties addressing the tax issue, arguing that it could not be considered a constitutionally permitted tax.

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2011-Present

Landmark supports state efforts to support federal immigration laws.  Landmark’s work in this area began in Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.  With the Biden Administration’s abdication of immigration enforcement, Landmark is reengaging in this fight.

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2011-Present

The Foundation opposes federal regulatory overreach, particularly those by the EPA, which under the Obama Administration and already under the Biden Administration seeks to expand its authority beyond that delegated by Congress.  Landmark is a leading opponent of the “Chevron Doctrine,” which gives federal agencies an unconstitutional advantage in cases challenging improper government regulations.  Landmark fought Obama’s regulations that effectively prohibited the construction of coal-fired power plants, that would have puddles of water declared “navigable waterways” subject to federal regulation, and many more.

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2012-2014

EPA FOIA II.  Landmark sought records of communications between Obama EPA officials and special interest environmental groups. EPA refused to conduct adequate searches for records, withheld records located, and concealed records by allowing senior officials to set up phony email accounts or use private email accounts to conduct official business.  EPA’s misconduct in this case led to a second sanctions order and attorney fee award to Landmark.

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2012-2014

Voting Rights Act and Voter ID litigation.  Landmark supported the State of North Carolina’s challenge of the Voting Rights Act requirement that the federal government approve even the most minor changes in the state’s voting processes.  Under the VRA, North Carolina and many other, mostly southern states, from determining who would work polls, where a polling place would be located, or the like.  The Supreme Court agreed.  In addition to North Carolina, Landmark worked with the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona on voter identification measures.

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2013

Landmark received numerous reports from Tea Party activists that the IRS was harassing them when they applied for IRS recognition as advocacy organizations.  Landmark filed a complaint with the IRS Inspector General’s office.  The resulting report led to a series of successful legal challenges and the removal of the IRS’s most senior tax-exempt division personnel.

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2013-2017

The Foundation submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to multiple federal agencies seeking records indicating the use of private or alias email addresses for the conduct of official agency business.  The requests led to litigation against the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor, all of which acknowledged the practice, but refused to search for records.  HHS claimed Landmark’s request would be “time consuming” and “tedious.”

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2016-Present

Landmark Election Integrity Project Launched.  The Foundation’s focus is on ensuring that only eligible U.S. citizens register to vote and that only legitimate votes are counted.  Our focus is on protecting states’ constitutional authority to ensure that voter registrations are accurate and properly maintained and to protect the integrity of their elections.  Landmark is fiercely dedicated to opposing any effort to nationalize elections.

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2019-Present

Angel Family Advocacy.  Beginning with litigation challenging the Trump Administration’s expansion of the existing border wall along the southern United States, Landmark is working with families who have lost loved ones to crimes committed by individuals who are in the United States illegally.

Our People

Staff

Richard P. (Pete) Hutchison, Esq.

Richard P. (Pete) Hutchison, Esq.

President

Richard P. “Pete” Hutchison has dedicated nearly 30 years serving the Conservative movement with Landmark Legal Foundation. Pete has been in the trenches for some of the most important public policy issues of the last quarter century: school choice; judicial taxation; labor union political coercion; EPA, IRS, and other federal agency overreach and abuses; voter integrity; and in numerous U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with significant constitutional issues. Pete served as Landmark’s general counsel for 20 years and most recently has also acted as the Foundation’s executive vice president. Pete is proud to succeed his longtime friend and Landmark colleague Mark Levin as Landmark’s president. ​

Michael J. O'Neill, Esq.

Assistant General Counsel, Barbara K. Olson Legal Counsel

Michael J. O’Neill serves as Assistant General Counsel and the Barbara K. Olson Legal Counsel. He is a graduate of Villanova University and the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. He specializes in constitutional and regulatory legal matters, and has exposed tax abuse and improper political spending by non-profit groups. He has authored numerous amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Federalist Society and the American Bar Association. Mike is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia.​

Matthew C. Forys, Esq.

Assistant General Counsel, Edwin Meese III Legal Counsel

Matthew C. Forys serves as Assistant General Counsel and the Edwin Meese III Legal Counsel. He is a graduate of Lafayette College and the Rutgers School of Law. His prior experience includes general practice in New York and New Jersey. He also served as a domestic policy analyst on Capitol Hill. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. At Landmark, he has uncovered government waste and improper political spending by nonprofit groups, resulting in extensive referral complaints with federal and state agencies. He has also written amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court on various issues, including immigration, administrative and election law. Matt is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Virginia.​

Board of Directors

Mark R. Levin

Mark R. Levin

Mark Levin is host of The Mark Levin Show, which airs on nearly 400 stations across the country and satellite radio, and is heard by millions of listeners every week, as well as LevinTV, an online television program broadcast and FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Life, Liberty & Levin (Sundays, 10-11 PM/ET).From 1996-2017 Mark served as Landmark Legal Foundation’s president. He now serves as chairman of Landmark’s board. Prior to joining Landmark, he served as an adviser to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s cabinet. Levin was Chief of Staff to then-Attorney General Edwin Meese and held other positions including Associate Director of Presidential Personnel, Deputy Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Throughout his career, Levin received numerous awards including the American Conservative Union’s Ronald Reagan Award, the Media Research Center’s William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence, and the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.

​Additionally, Levin is an eight-time New York Times bestselling author, which includes his latest book, Unfreedom of the Press.

John N. Richardson, Jr.

John N. Richardson, Jr.

John Richardson is Executive Vice President and COO of the Club for Growth. John has served as a senior executive for numerous private sector businesses for more than 30 years. Prior to his work in the private sector, John was chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese and held other high level positions in the Reagan Justice Department. John is Landmark’s immediate past board chairman and has served on the Foundation’s board for two decades.

Edwin Meese III

Edwin Meese III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation
Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient

Perhaps best known as U.S. attorney general during Reagan’s second term, Meese’s service to the conservative icon stretched from the California governor’s mansion in 1966 to the White House in 1981 before he went to the Department of Justice four years later.

He graduated from Yale University in 1953 and holds a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley.

Meese spent much of his adult life working for Reagan, first after he was elected California’s governor in 1966 and then when he sought and won the presidency in 1980.

From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position of counselor to the president — the senior job on the White House staff — and functioned as Reagan’s chief policy adviser.

Meese served as the 75th attorney general of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, he directed the Justice Department and led international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime.

He also is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California and lectures, writes and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.

As both attorney general and counselor to Reagan, Meese was a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Drug Policy Board. After Reagan won the White House in the 1980 election, Meese headed the transition team. During the campaign, he was the Reagan-Bush Committee’s senior official.

A retired colonel in the Army Reserve, Meese remains active in numerous civic and educational organizations.

President Donald Trump awarded Meese the highest civilian honor — the Presidential Medal of Freedom – in 2019.

Dr. Lawrence Davenport

Dr. Lawrence Davenport

Dr. Lawrence Davenport has over 25 years of top-level executive management and consulting experience in education, public and private sector business, and government. Currently, he serves as Executive Vice President of Neher & Associates, a California-based management consulting firm. His experience includes serving as Senior Vice President of Bennett Yarger Associates, Executive Vice President for University Advancement/Executive Director for FAU Foundation, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Florida Atlantic University. As Executive Vice President for University Advancement Dr. Davenport raised more than 60 million dollars. The most funds raised in the University’s history.

He served as Chief Executive Officer for the Paragon Foundation, Hale House Center, Inc, Deputy Administrative Officer for the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, Senior Vice President-Mid-Atlantic Region, Antin-Neher Associates, CA, Vice President of Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer for Milton Hershey School, PA, Chief Financial Officer for Seattle Public School, WA, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Planning at the University of California, San Francisco, Assistant Secretary for Management and Administration for the United States Department of Energy, DC, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, United States Department of Education, DC, Associate Director of ACTION, DC, Provost for the San Diego Community College District, CA, President San Diego Community College Educational Cultural Complex, Vice President for Development, Tuskegee Institute, AL and Assistant Dean, the University of Michigan-Flint, MI.

Dr. Davenport received a Doctorate of Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Master of Arts Degree and Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and Master of Science, University of Leicester. Dr. Davenport received his Six Sigma Black Belt Professional Certification from Management and Strategy Institute. He also has completed additional training in management and finance at Stanford University, University of Southern California, and Harvard University among others.

Gary L. McDowell

Gary L. McDowell

Professor Emeritus, University of Richmond, Jepson School of Leadership Studies

Dr. Gary L. McDowell is a leading constitutional scholar who joined the Jepson faculty in 2003 after a distinguished career in public life and the academy.

Prior to coming to the Jepson School, McDowell directed the Institute of United States Studies and taught American studies at the University of London. He also served as a member of the United States-United Kingdom Educational Commission (The Fulbright Commission). Prior to his work in London, he directed the Office of the Bicentennial of the Constitution at the National Endowment for the Humanities, served as chief speechwriter for Attorney General Edwin Meese, and held various positions at Tulane, Harvard, Harvard Law School, and Dickinson.

He was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution and Bradley Resident Scholar at the Center for Judicial Studies in Washington, D.C.

He is the author or editor of 11 books on subjects ranging from privacy to juvenile delinquency, politics, judicial power, and the Constitution. His most recent book, published by Cambridge University Press, is The Language of Law and the Foundations of American Constitutionalism.

He appeared as a commentator on the PBS special reports “The Kennedy Confirmation Hearings” and “The Bork Confirmation Hearings” with Roger Mudd.

McDowell frequently lectures and participates in public events, and serves as co-director of the John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship in the Jepson School.

Board of Advisors

Larry P. Arnn

President
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale, MI

Charles J. Cooper

Attorney at Law
Cooper & Kirk, PLLC
Washington, DC

Becky Norton Dunlop

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow
Heritage Foundation
Washington, DC

Philip Abrams

Boston, MA

 

Charles F. Rule

Attorney at Law
Paul/Weiss Law Firm
Washington, DC

SUPPORT LANDMARK LEGAL FOUNDATION

We are truly facing existential threats to our individual rights and liberties, the Constitution, and our national character. If unchallenged, this assault on our very way of life will ruin our great nation. With your financial and moral support, Landmark is not going to let that happen without a fight. Will you join us?