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Year: 2021

January 21, 2021

The Hill: Was 2020 a turning point for identity politics?

The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer has led to renewed interest in an important topic: equality before the law. Although Americans are united in their pursuit of this important principle, they are divided on what the term means. This divide is not along right-left lines. Instead, it is between collectivists who ...

January 20, 2021

Houston-area contractors brace for additional racial set-asides

Last year in Texas, both Harris County and the Port of Houston completed their first-ever studies of how public contracts are awarded for everything from paper products to multi-million-dollar building projects. The studies, called disparity studies, found that minority-owned businesses in Harris County and Port of Houston win public contracts at l ...

January 20, 2021

Daily Journal: California’s attack on donor privacy draws supreme scrutiny

Do you have the right to privately support charities and causes you believe in? And what standard applies when the government seeks to discover otherwise-anonymous donors' identities from nonprofit organizations? On Jan. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra to clarify the answers to those qu ...

January 20, 2021

Despite ”Cancel Culture” growing, America’s freedom of speech is strong

**Editor’s note on upcoming PLF event** Freedom of speech is a core value in American society. It's no mistake that it is protected by the First Amendment to our constitution. Both our intellectual and economic lives depend on the exchange of ideas and information. Yet today, individuals on both sides of the aisle are calling for ...

January 14, 2021

Orlando Sentinel: Orange County voters were misguided in approving ‘Rights of nature’ ordinance

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law an amendment to Florida's Environmental Protection Act, SB 712, that in part prohibits local governments from granting individuals the right to sue on behalf of plants, animals, bodies or water or other elements of nature. It reflected the sensible idea that it is individuals who are harmed ...

January 14, 2021

Not only does Chicago’s racial contracting set asides hurt minorities, it’s unconstitutional

In 2020, COVID-19 devastated many small businesses, including construction companies that work on public projects such as public roads, public schools, or public hospitals. In 2021, Chicago can make it easier for those contractors to earn a living by eliminating its set-asides for minority-owned businesses. Chicago's Minority Business Enterprise (M ...

January 13, 2021

The President vetoed a bill that would have decimated family fisheries and the ocean

Thanks to a last-minute veto by President Donald Trump on January 1, dozens of American family fishing businesses will be saved from going out of business, and the ocean ecosystem will be better protected—both of which were being threatened by a bill that was more rhetoric than science. In mid-December, Congress passed S. 906, the ...

January 12, 2021

The Hill: Enough is enough: It’s past time to rein in governors’ emergency powers

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic almost a year ago, governors and mayors have been governing unilaterally under the guise of emergency powers, and state legislatures and courts have delayed too long in reasserting their constitutional roles. Whether you believe that the government has done too much or too little to deal with COVID-19, ...

January 12, 2021

How the California Coastal Commission is hurting Californian home buyers and renters

The private vs. public beach debate is often characterized as debate on social justice. The logic is that blocked public beach access disproportionally hurts the poor who cannot afford to live in beachfront homes. In California, this is where the heroic California Coastal Commission enters: to protect the rights of such disadvantaged groups against ...

January 11, 2021

Evaluating The 1619 Project: A conversation with Phil Magness

In recent years, Americans are paying renewed attention and having new discussions on race, racism, and discrimination. Some of those discussions have been positive and constructive, but some have been divisive and political. One of the more academic and historical aspects of that discussion has come from a project by The New York Times called ...

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