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Month: July 2013

July 31, 2013

Obamacare: leading America down Rome’s path?

The theme of this year's Freedom Fest—at which I spoke about PLF's ongoing legal challenge to Obamacare—was "Are we Rome?" by which was meant, is America headed down the same path that led to the rise of the Roman empire? At Reason's website, John Stossel has posted some thoughts on the subject by himself and ...

July 31, 2013

Missouri Supreme Court upholds freedom of contract

Janet Chochorowski rented a garden tiller from Home Depot for $25, plus an optional charge of $2.50 for a damage waiver.  She signed a contract accepting these charges, including the optional $2.50.  Later, though, she sued Home Depot, purportedly as a class action under Missouri's consumer protection act, arguing that the optional fee was “ ...

July 31, 2013

Milton Friedman at 101–wisdom, warnings, and hope

Today marks 101 years since Milton Friedman was born. That’s 404 quarters of economic activity, or 5,252 weekend issues of the Wall Street Journal, or 36,890 days of Dow Jones Industrial Average fluctuations. However you measure it, it’s a lot of time. For about 26,663 of those days (73 years), Friedman was a student, practitioner, ...

July 30, 2013

PLF challenges bureaucrats' decision to ignore Congress on Sea otter, eliminate protections for Southern California fisheries

Today, PLF filed a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to terminate Congressionally mandated protections for the Southern California marine ecosystem and fishing industries. As part of a compromise between conservationists, the Service, and the local fishing industry, Congress authorized the Service to move a population of ...

July 30, 2013

Shelby County a month later: Has the sky fallen on minority voting rights?

When the Supreme Court issued Shelby County v. Holder last month, Chicken Littles on the left almost immediately began shouting that is was “a blow to democracy,” or that it obstructs “Americans’ fundamental right to vote,” or even that “the Court has left millions of minority voters without the mechanism that h ...

July 30, 2013

Economic liberty hanging by a thread

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear the case of Patterson v. City of Bellmead. The Pattersons were asking for the chance to prove their allegations that a city kennel-licensing law is unconstitutional. That may seem like a little thing at first, but as I wrote a few weeks ago, the Pattersons' case ...

July 29, 2013

"Californy is the place you oughta be"– if you like burdensome occupational licensing regimes, that is

Last week our friends at the Reason Foundation posted an article about occupational licensing in California.  The post reveals that the Golden State leads the nation in two troubling areas: (1) the number of occupations requiring an individual to obtain a state license; and (2) the burdensome requirements to obtain those licenses.  The author con ...

July 29, 2013

Another court punts on the Constitution, slams courthouse doors to entrepreneurs

When regulations impinge the right to earn a living, the government’s actions are analyzed under the most deferential and unfair standard of review in our law—the rational basis "test." Under this standard, a law is unconstitutional only if the plaintiff can prove that it is totally unreasonable. This makes defending economic liberty a near ...

July 29, 2013

Polar bear listing challenged in U.S. Supreme Court

It is a fundamental tenet of administrative law that an agency must explain its decisions and show that the facts support the agency's conclusions.  This is required to avoid arbitrary government decisions, to provide transparency in law making, to correct errors in law and fact, and to ensure trust in our public institutions.  It was ...

July 26, 2013

President's weekly report — July 26, 2013

Property Rights — Victory in North Carolina We finally put an end to the Williamson County remove-and-dismiss gambit in the 4th Circuit with a decision in Sansotta v. Town of Nags Head.  As explained in our blog post, Williamson County was a Supreme Court decision that held that a landowner must sue a local or state ...