A man who grew the PLF community : Dick Bradley, 1929–2022

July 19, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Next year Pacific Legal Foundation will be celebrating our 50th anniversary. It’s a milestone we would not have reached without the tireless work and indefatigable enthusiasm of people like Dick Bradley, who just passed away at the age of 93.   Since Dick won’t be here for next year’s celebrations, I want to take a … ...


Apocalypse not : What West Virginia v. EPA really means

July 15, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

On July 5, Axios not-so-subtly warned us that “the Supreme Court’s next target is the executive branch.” The Guardian’s headline was even more stark: “The U.S. Supreme Court has declared war on the Earth’s future.”   With headlines like these, you might think we’re experiencing the end times. Or, as ...


The federal government should get out of the way of homebuilding

July 13, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

The federal government isn’t going to solve the housing crisis. With its multiple large, redundant, contradictory, unwieldy, and economically illiterate Washington-centric bureaucracies, we should neither expect nor want the government to be in the homebuilding business. Or to tell us how to do it.  In fact, the best thing the government can ...


What is the Clean Water Act?

June 14, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

The Clean Water Act is one of the more commonly known pieces of federal legislation in America, but the history of the Act, why it was originally passed, and what it actually does is much less widely understood. What is the Clean Water Act, and what does it do?   How did the Clean Water … ...


What is the difference between originalism vs. textualism vs. living constitutionalism?

April 27, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

While we hear legal debates around originalism vs. textualism during high profile Supreme Court cases, they can often feel like vague terms. What exactly is originalism vs. textualism?  The late Justice Antonin Scalia called himself both an originalist and a textualist. Justice Neil Gorsuch is considered “a proud textualist,” and yet h ...


Emergency orders and the Supreme Court’s ‘shadow docket’

April 21, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Schoolchildren are not known for their patience. But sometimes they have good reason to want something not next year, not next month, but now. Such as when their futures are on the line before the Supreme Court.   The slow Supreme Court process  In normal circumstances, it takes more than a year for the Supreme … ...


Senators shouldn’t treat Supreme Court confirmation hearings as theater 

March 21, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

It is with some trepidation that the nation approaches the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, which begin today. Will these hearings descend into a Twitter-mobbing reality TV show, or will they focus on the qualifications of Judge Jackson?   Americans have good reason to pay attention. For better or worse, the re ...


The future is the past : New York and “good cause” eviction

February 24, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

In 1905, the philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”   Maybe that explains why some people are so nostalgic and want to repeat the time a half-century ago when landlords were abandoning between 21,0000 and 50,000 apartments a year throughout New York City.   In 1976, a New ...


Daily Journal : Challenge to Coastal Commission action may head to US high court

February 15, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

This is the story of a California couple caught in the cross-hairs of environmental bureaucracy bent on revenge for the crime of standing up to the state’s attempt to help people fall off a cliff. The revenge has taken its toll: a fine of over $4 million imposed in a hearing with procedures that would … ...