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Author: Oliver Dunford

September 25, 2019

The Hill: Supreme Court should further affirm importance of property rights

Dartmond and Esther Cherk owned three acres of residentially-zoned investment property in Marin County, Calif. They wanted to divide the property into two lots, sell one and use the proceeds to build a retirement home on the other. Easy, right? Far from it. After nearly 20 years of back-and-forth with Marin County to determine how ...

July 10, 2018

Future-Justice Kavanaugh agrees with PLF—sort of

Yesterday, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the United States Supreme Court. As Professor Jonathan Adler notes, Judge Kavanaugh's opinions on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (where he currently sits) have influenced the Supreme Court in a number of cases. Indeed, the high Court has more than a few times ...

June 22, 2018

Supreme Court gets it right but doesn’t go far enough

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission and held that administrative-law judges (ALJs) in the SEC are “officers of the United States” under the Appointments Clause. The ruling isn’t all that surprising, as the Court simply applied its holding from a 1991 case, Freytag v. Commi ...

June 11, 2018

Diversity quotas: New name, same discrimination

Originally published in the New Haven Register June 10, 2018. In 1967, the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law banning interracial marriages, on the grounds that the ban violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. The law prohibited state officials from issuing marriage licenses until the government determined the applicants had prope ...

May 21, 2018

PLF continues fighting for small vape shops against regulatory overkill

In response to three lawsuits PLF filed to vindicate the constitutional rights of small vape-shop owners across the country who are threatened by FDA's unconstitutional regulation of their livelihoods, the federal government's first tactic is an attempt to transfer cases filed in Minnesota and Texas to its "home court" in Washington, D.C., where th ...

May 10, 2018

Federal Court in Alaska agrees with PLF and dismisses challenge to the Congressional Review Act

PLF scored another victory against bureaucratic overreach yesterday, when the federal court in Alaska dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act. This dismissal is PLF's latest success in its campaign to promote and defend the CRA. At issue in this lawsuit was a regulation adopted during the Obama adminis ...

March 22, 2018

Can the government ignore its obligation to consider the costs of its regulations?

Defenders of government regulation often insist that regulations exist to protect us, to keep our foods and drugs safe, or to ensure good stewardship of the environment. Of course, intentions don't equal results, and government regulation doesn't always work out as planned. (Often, government itself causes more harm than good.) Regardless, we are a ...

March 08, 2018

Make government accountable again

How can "We the People" hold government officials accountable? That's one of the big questions that the Supreme Court will consider when it addresses a rather technical constitutional question—whether administrative law judges (ALJs) are "Officers of the United States" under the Constitution's Appointments Clause. The Framers adopted the Appointm ...

December 22, 2017

PLF files another—and hopefully the last—brief against a challenge to the Congressional Review Act

PLF filed a Reply brief in support of its Renewed Motion to Dismiss Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke, a case that challenges Congress' use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn a Department of Interior regulation (Refuges Rule) that had severely restricted certain types of hunting in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuges. ...

November 03, 2017

“Chevron deference” belongs in the “Not My Job!” Department

Chief Justice John Marshall, on behalf of a unanimous Supreme Court, stated the obvious: "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." But over the last 100 years or so, the judicial department has voluntarily ceded this "duty" to the executive branch. ...