Articles

The public school teacher debate continues

November 03, 2011 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

PLF has long been concerned with the powerful role that unions play in dictating government spending policies across America. One area where the problem is particularly acute is in public education, where PLF has challenged government enforced teacher monopolies and the right of parents to choose alternative education options for their children. He ...

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Do environmental concerns justify snooping and trespassing?

November 23, 2011 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

Check out our new Coastal Guardian to learn about the amicus brief we filed in Norris v. Witter, a case in which the Court of Appeal found that defendants who trespassed on their neighbors’ property, took photographs, and reported what they saw to the Coastal Commission, were immune from liability.  The court reasoned that because … ...

Articles

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

December 15, 2011 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

Today is the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. In 1791, the states ratified ten out of twelve constitutional amendments proposed by the First U.S. Congress. Those 10 Amendments became known as the Bill of Rights and guarantee some of our most cherished freedoms. At PLF, we work to protect the … ...

Articles

Big Brother listens to internet protests . . . at least for the time being

January 23, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

The internet, having become the ubiquitous tool for discovering information, communicating,  conducting business and socializing, has completely transformed modern society. Do you remember life before email? Before search engines? Remember having to go to the library to pick up tax forms and to figure out the proper zip code for an address? Rem ...

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Still no word on Fisher; in the meantime another example of how “diversity” creates injustice

February 03, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

Bloomberg today reports that the Office for Civil Rights, a subdivision of the U.S. Education Department, is investigating complaints that both Harvard and Princeton discriminate against Asian-American undergraduate admission applicants. The article states: Like Jews in the first half of the 20th century, who faced quotas at Harvard, Princeton, an ...

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Whales as "slaves" and other strange tales from the Golden State

February 09, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

A federal district court judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by PETA, the (in)famous animal rights group, alleging that Sea World was violating the Thirteenth Amendment by keeping whales as slaves. Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 at the close of the Civil War to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude. Fast forward 147 years ...

Articles

A small miracle in the world of takings law

February 18, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

Robert Thomas, managing attorney of PLF’s Hawaii Center in Honolulu recently highlighted an important takings case on his excellent blog, inversecondemnation.com.  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided R & J Holding Company v. Redevelopment Authority  in December and found that a property owner did have the right to bring his Fifth ...

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Of agricultural subsidies and collective action

March 02, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

The Cato Institute has released a new video exposing the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a federal agency whose ratio of regulators to regulated (i.e. farmers) is totally out of proportion.  According to the video, over the course of a century, the number of farms in America has plummeted from six million to two million, while the number  ...

Articles

Seven stories; one moral

March 16, 2012 | By JENNIFER THOMPSON

During the past week and a half, I have encountered seven separate instances of property owners stuck in seemingly intractable disputes with government agencies.  In each situation, someone is trying to use his or her property, but can’t because of some government action.  The experience of hearing people’s stories first-hand—and le ...