For some school boards, parents are the enemy

December 20, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

This article first appeared in the wall 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. This year California legislators tried to create new criminal penalties for parents who “harass” school board officials or disrupt school board meetings. The legislators drafted a vague bill that defined harassment as two or more acts directed at an education offi ...


Pacific Legal Foundation’s 2023 highlights

December 20, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

2023 was a particularly big year for Pacific Legal Foundation. We celebrated our 50th birthday, which gave us the opportunity to reflect on moments that made PLF what we are today. Since 1973, we have had the privilege of changing lives: We’ve helped our clients challenge unjust government actions in the court of law and … ...


When government gets between a mother and a midwife

December 19, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

This article first appeared in the winter 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. The birth of a child is a sacred experience in a mother’s life. How and where she chooses to bring her baby into the world is a deeply personal decision that should be free from government interference. Yet in some states, certificate-of-need (CON) laws … ...


Racial quotas for city contractors may ruin this family business

December 18, 2023 | By ERIN WILCOX

This article first appeared in the winter 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. In the mid-nineties, Jerry Thompson was headhunted for a Texas company that paid good money. He was a whiz at sales. So he moved his wife, Theresa, and two kids from Michigan to Texas. He loved living in Texas. But two years in, he … ...


The Boston Tea Party was a fight against monopoly, not high taxes

December 15, 2023 | By NICOLE W.C. YEATMAN

On December 16, 1773—250 years ago—Samuel Adams gathered an angry crowd in Boston. Three ships loaded with East India Company tea were docked in Boston Harbor.   One ship, the Dartmouth, had been docked for 20 days while the people of Boston protested and argued. That day, December 16, was the day the conflict would … ...


A biased court destroyed families in colonial Salem

December 15, 2023 | By DANIEL WOISLAW

This article first appeared in the winter 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. Imagine you are a young child living in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. You are brought into a crowded meetinghouse where two magistrates—both commanding older men who serve on the council of Massachusetts Bay Colony—are waiting to interrogate you in front of an angry au ...


A federal judge ordered the SBA to stop its racial discrimination—but the agency isn’t listening

December 14, 2023 | By ALISON SOMIN

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is deliberately circumventing a nationwide injunction in Ultima Services Corp. v. Dept. of Agriculture—a case litigated by the Center for Individual Rights (CIR)—to stop racial preferences in the SBA’s 8(a) program, which makes “socially and economically disadvantaged” small business own ...


American Habits : When lawmakers outsource their powers to California regulators

December 14, 2023 | By LUKE WAKE

Brian Wanner is the owner of Peters Brothers Trucking in Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania. But on some of the most important decisions facing his business he doesn’t call the shots. Instead, he takes orders from regulators . . . in California — a state he doesn’t even do business in. That’s because the Pennsylvania Department of Envi ...


These parents did not hurt their children—but child protection agencies targeted them anyway

December 14, 2023 | By GLENN ROPER

This article first appeared in the winter 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. At 2:07 A.M. on Saturday, July 16, 2022, Sarah Perkins texted the family group chat: CPS just took custody. Her sister-in-law Dia wrote back: No no no no. Custody of both kids? Her brother-in-law Brian wanted to know. At 1:00 in the morning? They drove off with both ki ...