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Month: November 2018

November 30, 2018

It’s last call for Virginia’s unconstitutional happy-hour advertising laws

Originally published in The Washington Post, November 30, 2018. It's been almost a year since Geoff Tracy and his restaurant, Chef Geoff's, filed a First Amendment lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down Virginia's happy-hour advertising laws. In the Old Dominion, it's legal for businesses to offer happy hour. It's just illegal for them ...

November 30, 2018

It’s last call for Virginia’s unconstitutional happy-hour advertising laws

Originally published by The Washington Post, November 30, 2018 It's been almost a year since Geoff Tracy and his restaurant, Chef Geoff's, filed a First Amendment lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down Virginia's happy-hour advertising laws. In the Old Dominion, it's legal for businesses to offer happy hour. It's just illegal for them ...

November 30, 2018

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: Judge, Jury, and Executioner?

Agencies at every level play an outsized role in everyday life. The FDA imposes nutritional guidelines; the FCC controls what viewers can see on TV. Many other alphabet-soup agencies regulate in many other areas of life. Thus, while many Americans think that it’s Congress that is regulating through legislation, it is usually the agency promul ...

November 29, 2018

Will Idaho case lead to reining in of unaccountable federal agencies?

Should federal executive branch agencies be accountable to Congress? For most people, the common-sense answer to that question is "yes." Yet PLF attorneys regularly go head-to-head with government lawyers who seem to believe their agencies should be immune from such basic accountability. Case in point: Today, PLF was in federal court in Idaho for o ...

November 29, 2018

Good news in fight to end Michigan’s tax foreclosure abuse

In 2011, PLF client Uri Rafaeli of Oakland County, Michigan, accidentally underpaid property taxes by $8. He paid all the following years' taxes on time. But in 2014, after making his first tax payment for the year, he discovered that the County had foreclosed on his home to collect the $8 debt, plus about $277 ...

November 28, 2018

Supreme Court hears oral argument in excessive fines case

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Timbs v.  Indiana, a case brought by our friends at Institute for Justice.  In Timbs, the Supreme Court will decide whether the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated against the states. In other words, the court will decide whether the Eighth Amendment prevents states (and not ...

November 28, 2018

Edward Poitevent’s victory at Supreme Court is a win for property rights and government accountability

This article will appear in the upcoming issue of Sword&Scales, PLF’s quarterly magazine. Sign up to receive the magazine here. The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory for PLF client Edward Poitevent on November 27 in the case of Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,the infamous "phantom frog" case, involving the feds' ...

November 26, 2018

Proposed bill would rein in “tree police” in Michigan towns

Do you own the trees on your property? Most property owners assume so, but one particular Michigan municipality thinks otherwise: Canton, a township just outside Detroit, has ramped up enforcement of an ordinance requiring property owners to get permits to remove trees from their land. Those permits are not cheap either. Property owners must agree ...

November 26, 2018

Solving the wildfire crisis requires free-market solutions

Originally published by The Hill, November 26, 2018. The devastating fires burning in California are a vivid reminder of the urgent need to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. In 2018, California has set records for the largest wildfire and the deadliest wildfire on record, the latter being the still-burning Camp Fire near the town ...

November 26, 2018

How Unnecessary Laws Pit Falconry Against Free Speech

Originally published by The Daily Signal on November 26, 2018. When flocks of birds fly too close to airports, hotels, or landfills, property managers call someone like professional falconer Scott Timmons. Timmons launches one of his falcons to patrol the property, where the majestic creature swoops and dives, scaring away seagulls, pigeons, and th ...

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