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February 15, 2019

Lent v. California Coastal Commission

In 2016, the Lents received the California Coastal Commission's first ever fine—$4.185 million—for blocking public access to the beach. The home sits 20 feet above the beach and, without stairs or a ramp, the public cannot safely get to the beach. The property originally included an outdoor stairway and a gate to block the large drop—both of ...

February 14, 2019

Uri Rafaeli takes a stand for traditional property rights

Can the government constitutionally take your house if you are tardy paying an $8 property tax debt? PLF client Uri Rafaeli is asking the Michigan Supreme Court that very question. In 2014, Rafaeli was shocked to learn that Oakland County in Michigan had taken title to his $60,000 rental house to collect an $8.41 debt. ...

February 13, 2019

California bureaucrats levied a $4+ million fine against these homeowners. Now they’re fighting for their rights.

When it comes to government bureaucrats abusing citizens' property rights and pushing the envelope on constitutional limits, the California Coastal Commission is in a class by itself. Our latest effort to defend a pair of Southern California homeowners against the commission's overly aggressive and heavy-handed tactics is a case study in government ...

February 13, 2019

Democracy depends on Free Speech

When Alexis de Tocqueville made his famous sojourn to America in the early days of our republic, he was struck by our commitment to democratic principles. In those days almost all government was local and conducted through various direct mechanisms like town meetings. Basically, elected officials, neighbors, and the curious would get together and d ...

February 12, 2019

Here’s why De Blasio’s wrongheaded tenant protection proposal is dead on arrival

This article was originally published by The Hill on February 12th, 2019. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a new proposal that would threaten landlords he believes are pushing tenants out of their homes. In addition to fines and penalties, De Blasio recently announced that the city ultimately may "seize their buildings" and ...

February 11, 2019

Are Florida’s Hearing Aid Regulators Listening to the Call for Deregulation?

This article was originally published in Sunshine State News on February 8th, 2019. Last week in Orlando, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis convened dozens of government officials who run Florida's 23 professional licensing boards for what he called a "Deregathon" event to advance an agenda of "aggressive and appropriate deregulation." The idea was fo ...

February 11, 2019

Legislative overkill: 1,016 new California laws in 2019

This article was originally published in The Hill on February 6th, 2019. I've lived in California almost my entire life. And if there's one thing you can count on in this glorious state, it's the ability of the people to join together to overcome adversity in pursuit of the common good. But that healthy sense ...

February 08, 2019

Weekly litigation report — February 9, 2019

Should you need government permission to sell harmless, FDA-approved hearing aids? We filed this opening brief on appeal asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to reinstate PLF client Dan Taylor's constitutional challenge against Florida's outdated hearing aid sales regulations. The law prohibits anyone from selling a hearing aid ...

February 08, 2019

PLF and Friends Ask SCOTUS to Review Extraterritorial Fuel Regulations

Back in 2014, PLF urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's decision upholding California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) against constitutional challenge. The LCFS regulates transportation fuels using a "life-cycle" analysis, meaning that it fictionally assigns a "carbon intensity score" based on estimated carbon emissions resul ...

February 08, 2019

Time to reacquaint campaign finance with the First Amendment

Today, PLF filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider the First Amendment's relationship to campaign contributions in a case called Illinois Liberty PAC v. Raoul. The case challenges an Illinois law that imposes contribution limits on all individuals and groups except political parties and their leaders. The case would allow the C ...