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Personal Liberties

Elster v. City of Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s politician enrichment tax forces property owners to subsidize private political speech and violates the First Amendment

Representing Seattle residents and property owners, PLF sued to overturn Seattle’s ordinance mandating public campaign financing. Under the city’s “democracy voucher” program, each Seattle resident receives four $25 vouchers to support eligible candidates for local political office. The money to fund the voucher program is taken from the city’s property owners via a dedicated levy. The lawsuit argues that these compelled subsidies violate the First Amendment right to refrain from speaking – or funding the speech of another person.

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Procedural Guarantees

American Federation of Aviculture v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Thriving golden parakeets no longer need Endangered Species Act protection

Thanks to the efforts of private breeders, the golden parakeet is no longer threatened with extinction. Although the federal government acknowledges the bird’s tenfold increase in numbers, it has refused to comply with a law that requires it to make a final decision to delist or downlist the parakeet within 12 months of that finding. On behalf of a coalition of breeders and bird owners, the American Federation of Aviculture, PLF is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force it to comply with the law, reclassify the golden parakeet, and lift onerous restrictions that prevent breeders from selling to all other breeders.

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Latest Blog Posts

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By Jeffrey W. McCoy

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Competitive Law

On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court issued its opinion in Women’s Surgical Center v Berry, a case that challenged Georgia’s anti-competitive Certificate of Need (“CON”) laws Certificate of Need laws, which PLF has successfully challenged in six other states, force entrepreneurs to prove that there is a “need” for additional services in a market before opening a new business to compete with existing ones Women’s Surgical Center specializes in providing innovative and relatively inexpensive medical care It wished to expand its facilities and its practice, but Georgia’s law allowed competing medical practices to object to the expansion, triggering a hearing by the Department to determine whether there is

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By Wen Fa

My speech to the Federalist Society at the University of Michigan Law School

I recently spoke to the Federalist Society at the University of Michigan Law School about PLF’s cert petition in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. In Mansky, we ask the Supreme … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

Oklahoma cannot stop American Indian artists from calling their art American Indian-made

For over 30 years, Peggy Fontenot has made, displayed, and sold American Indian art, often traveling the country to participate in American Indian art shows and festivals. Her specialty is … ›

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By Mark Miller

Florida appellate court to hold oral argument in PLF case this week

Florida’s Second District of Appeal

On Tuesday, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal will hold oral arguments in a number of cases, including in Pacific Legal Foundation‘s PIE, LLC v DeSoto County Christina Martin and I will represent PIE, and Christina will argue the cause

The Daily Signal, a publication of The Heritage Foundation, just published my op-ed on the case I set out why the injustice done by a local Florida government to our client, Tom Finney, the principal behind PIE,

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By Anastasia P. Boden

Governor signs bill making book signings legal again

Bibliophiles and liberty lovers, rejoice! Governor Brown signed a bill that exempts books from California’s draconian autograph law.

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By James S. Burling

Weekly litigation update — October 14, 2017

Oral argument held in WOTUS case

The Supreme Court held oral argument this last Wednesday in  National Manufacturers Association v USa case that our Washington Cattlemen’s Association case had been consolidated into These cases challenge the Obama administrations “Waters of the United States” rule At issue in this particular argument was whether challenges to such Clean Water Regulations should be filed in federal district court (which would have a six-year statute of limitations) in the first instance, or in a Court of Appeals (where there is a 90 day statute of limitations)

The tenor of the argument seemed quite favorable our position that the plain language of the Clean Water Act

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By Caleb R. Trotter

Public comment reopened for federal wine labeling regulations

Over a year ago, I wrote about a pending federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulation that would remove certain common-sense labeling exceptions for wines sold within a single state As I explained then, under the proposed rule, if a winemaker chooses to label their wine using an “appellation of origin” from a recognized viticultural area like Napa, then the wine must meet certain requirements Those requirements include: 85 percent of the grapes used to make the wine must be grown in the named area, and the wine must be “finished” (ie fully produced and bottled) in the

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By Ethan W. Blevins

Can government force you to pay for someone else’s expression?

Think on these three statements:

  1. A law forbids you from posting a sign that says, “Vote for Voldemort”
  2. A law forces you to post a sign that says, “Vote for Voldemort”
  3. A law forces you to pay for someone else’s sign that says, “Vote for Voldemort”

Should the First Amendment treat these laws differently? (more…)

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By Kevin Desormeaux

Justices asked to ensure the EPA’s victims their day in court

The Supreme Court was urged today not to allow the EPA to place itself above the law by arbitrarily restricting judicial review of its regulations.

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