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Month: April 2014

April 30, 2014

PLF scores another Koontz victory

Today, the Florida Court of Appeal handed our client, Coy Koontz, Jr., an important victory following PLF’s U.S. Supreme Court win in this case last June. A three-judge panel of the Florida Court of Appeal held that the Koontz family is entitled to damages under Florida law for the period of time during which the St. ...

April 30, 2014

PLF files challenge to bureaucrats' decision to ignore the law

Today, PLF filed a lawsuit on behalf of Save Crystal River, Inc., against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) for ignoring a petition to downlist the recovering West Indian manatee. The Service has already acknowledged that the species has recovered to the point that it isn’t endangered–a 2007 scientific review recommended the dow ...

April 29, 2014

The original meaning of the Origination Clause

Todd Gaziano of PLF’s new D.C. Center testified this morning to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice about the original meaning of the Origination Clause–the provision of the Constitution that’s at issue in our Obamacare lawsuit. You can read his written testimony here, and you can watch his in-person comme ...

April 29, 2014

Private property versus public recreation: the debate continues

Earlier this month, I published a guest column about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States with Jurist, an online journal run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The article takes on critics who believe that judicial respect for private property rights will spell doom for ...

April 29, 2014

Has the Endangered Species Act become immune to amendment?

An animal rights group has filed a lawsuit arguing that the Endangered Species Act — which is itself constitutionally suspect — limits Congress’ powers, i.e. Congress cannot legislate on endangered species issues unless that legislation would be consistent with the ESA. This absurd proposition has already been rejected by that ba ...

April 28, 2014

Why should a city’s taxpayers pay the salaries of union employees?

The City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), the police officers' union, negotiated a contract whereby the city pays full salary and overtime for six full-time and 35 part-time employees who report to the union, and do the union's work.  That's an estimated $900,000 of taxpayer money to subsidize 31,000 hours of ...

April 28, 2014

Do constitutional protections end where “professional concerns” begin?

The Constitution forbids states from interfering with certain individual rights. For instance, states aren't allowed to censor speech or deprive people of the right to travel from one state to another. But does that protection end as soon as a person exercises a right for commercial or professional reasons? That's the question at issue in ...

April 25, 2014

Forced union fees should end

The government's days of forcing non-union members to pay union fees are likely numbered.  A few weeks ago, I discussed two pending cases challenging such fees and I explained that such fees amount to compelled speech.  This post explains why those fees are unconstitutional.  When defending compelled speech, the government faces an uphill battle ...

April 25, 2014

President's weekly report — April 25, 2014

Equality Under the Law — Victory! We had a major victory this week before the Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.  Justice Kennedy, writing for a plurality (meaning that while a majority of the Justices agreed with the result, they did not all sign onto the particular reasoning of the lead opinion ...

April 25, 2014

Drawing a line

Tort law allows injured people to sue the person or company that caused the injury.  The question of who "caused" the injury, however, has filled volumes of legal reports.  In the context of asbestos litigation, where the companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products long ago went bankrupt, plaintiffs suffering from asbestos-related di ...