Amicus Briefs

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Economic Liberty

July 08, 2020

California Can’t Arbitrarily Force People to Be Employees

Olson v. State of California

If the fundamental change in California's labor market wasn't bad enough, the legislature also exempted many groups of workers and professionals, seemingly at random. In PLF's friend-of-the-court brief, we argue that the Ninth Circuit should reverse a district court decision denying a preliminary injunction sought by a group of Uber and Postmates d ...

December 09, 2019

Addressing groundwater regulation must be left to state and local governments

County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

This case is about whether the Clean Water Act regulates pollution that reaches surface water from groundwater. If it does, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has said, then every homeowner with a septic tank could be subject to harsh treatment from federal agency bureaucrats. ...

December 09, 2019

Can the government deny privately donated scholarships to religious school students just because the donor receives a tax credit?

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue

The most significant school choice case before the Supreme Court in decades involves Montana's tax-credit scholarship program. Under the program, Montana students could receive scholarship assistance to attend the private school of their choice, and donors to the scholarship program were entitled to a small tax credit. But the Montana Department of ...

September 01, 2017

Adverse decision in case supporting defendants’ right to a jury trial

Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group

In 2011, the federal America Invents Act authorized the formation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a panel of three Administrative Law Judges who review the validity of patent claims. But defendants who are accused of patent infringement are increasingly asking the PTAB to use these reviews to invalidate the patent at issue, which in tu ...

July 01, 2017

Forced subsidization of unions violates First Amendment

Janus v. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Council 31

The Illinois Public Labor Relations Act authorized public employee unions to collect "fair share" or "agency shop" fees from nonmember employees. Allowed under the 1977 Supreme Court decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the Illinois law allowed the AFSCME union to steal $535 per year from Mark Janus and every nonunion employee. Janus su ...

May 25, 2017

Georgia Constitution disallows economic protectionism

Women’s Surgical Center, LLC v. Reese

Women's Surgical Center specializes in conducting outpatient procedures for traditionally inpatient surgeries, which benefits patients by providing less expensive and less invasive operations. Women's Surgical wants to expand its practice, building more operating rooms and contracting with more doctors. However, Georgia's Certificate of Need law al ...

January 09, 2017

Cosmetology cartel seeks to squash competition by African-style hair braiders

Niang v. Carroll

Missouri law requires African-style hair braiders to be licensed as a cosmetologist or barber. To obtain such a license, an applicant must pass a background check, undergo thousands of hours of training (costing thousands of dollars to attend special schools), and pass an exam. Neither the cosmetology nor barbering curricula teach African-style hai ...

November 29, 2016

Causation, and not deep pockets, should dictate liability

T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

In 2007, the expectant mother of twins used a generic form of an asthma medication for the off-label purpose of preventing pre-term labor. Novartis was the former manufacturer of the brand-name version of the medication until it sold its rights to the product in 2001. The twins were diagnosed with autism in 2012, allegedly tied to the medication. T ...

July 06, 2016

Homeowners have a constitutional right to rent to travelers

Anderson v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County

Two Nashville ordinances banned any form of advertising short-term rentals with signage on the property, and capped the number of non-owner-occupied short-term rentals to three percent of the properties in each census tract. Rachel and P.J. Anderson periodically rent out their home via Airbnb and sued to strike down the law as violating their First ...