Rutherford Institute Celebrates 30 Years - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Rutherford Institute Celebrates 30 Years

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An Albemarle county-based legal group is celebrating 30 years of fighting for civil liberties.

Attorney John Whitehead started the Rutherford Institute on $200 in 1982 before moving to central Virginia in 1990.

Since then, the institute has represented Paula Jones in her sexual harassment case against President Bill Clinton and challenged constitutional issues to the Supreme Court.

"It was to let people get into the courtroom and get justice," Whitehead said.  "We've done that with thousands of people.  We've sued basically every governmental agency you can think of when they act oppressive."

Whitehead's first employee - who worked without a salary - left him a sign, encouraging him to learn to say "no" to some cases.  He says that is still a challenge 30 years later.

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