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Personal Liberties

Rentberry v. City of Seattle

Seattle’s unconstitutional rent-bidding law blocks innovation, free speech

Rentberry is a small San Francisco-based startup that connects landlords and renters through a rent-bidding website. The company hopes to expand its service to Seattle, however city council adopted a one-year moratorium on the service over concerns it might violate existing rental law and might inflate housing costs—despite no evidence that either is true. Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Rentberry, arguing the moratorium prohibits free speech rights of Rentberry, as well as the landlords and renters who would like to use such sites to communicate.

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Property Rights

Yim v. City of Seattle

Seattle wages unconstitutional war on landlords

In a noble but misguided effort to combat racial discrimination, the City of Seattle passed a series of ordinances forbidding local landlords from choosing their own tenants. A “first in time” ordinance requires landlords to rent to the first financially-qualified tenant who applies. And the “Fair Chance Housing Ordinance” forbids landlords from considering applicants’ criminal histories. PLF represents several small-scale landlords who are denied their constitutionally-guaranteed choice to decide who to allow on their private property.

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Personal Liberties

Taylor v. Polhill, et al

Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods

In Florida, you need a license to sell hearing aids. Dan Taylor of Melbourne, Florida, gave up his license after 30 years, because Florida’s outdated regulations were made for older models, not the updated, technologically sophisticated models he and his customers prefer. In a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dan, PLF argues that Florida’s licensing scheme increases cost and reduces access to modern hearing aids—and they’re even preempted by federal laws aimed at reducing unnecessary regulation.

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Latest Blog Posts

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By James S. Burling

Weekly litigation report

Victory in New Orleans home demolition case! Supreme Court goes part of the way on limiting administrative power PLF files reply brief to compel California agency to follow state law. … ›

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By Damien M. Schiff

Opening brief in gnatcatcher listing challenge

Today, we filed our opening merits brief in our challenge to the federal Endangered Species Act listing of the coastal California gnatcatcher. Our lawsuit takes aim at the taxonomic foundation … ›

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By J. David Breemer

PLF wins in New Orleans property demolition case

Today, we received a favorable, published decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Garrett v. City of New Orleans.   This case challenges the City’s demolition … ›

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By Christina M. Martin

PLF asks Supreme Court to revive property rights protections

Yesterday, PLF filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review a decision that diminishes property rights by throwing unnecessary obstacles to raising Fifth Amendment claims. The story behind this case … ›

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By Oliver J. Dunford

Supreme Court gets it right but doesn’t go far enough

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission and held that administrative-law judges (ALJs) in the SEC are “officers of the United States” under … ›

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By Timothy R. Snowball

ACLU gives up on free speech (we are still fighting)

“Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces … ›

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By J. David Breemer

PLF files its merits brief in the Knick Supreme Court property case

In late May, PLF attorneys filed this brief on the merits in the case of Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, which is currently before the United States Supreme Court. The … ›

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By James S. Burling

Weekly litigation report — June 16, 2018

Victory for the First Amendment! Challenging Florida’s Tone Deaf Hearing Aid Bureaucrats Supreme Court Splits on Salmon Santa Barbara Association of Realtors v. City of Santa Barbara Victory for the … ›

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By Kaycee Royer

Supreme Court Splits on Salmon

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Washington v. United States. This case dealt directly with whether various Indian Tribes in the Puget Sound could require the state … ›

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