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Author: Oliver Dunford

November 01, 2019

California Lawyer: How the high court may rule in Seila Law — and why

The Supreme Court should prevent further erosion of the lines drawn by the Constitution and strike down the CFPB’s for-cause removal protection at issue. The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an important separation-of-powers case involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Seila Law LLC v. CFPB, 19-7. Congress created the CF ...

October 21, 2019

The Hill: Supreme Court will take on ‘fourth branch’ of bureaucracies

As every schoolchild knows, the federal government is divided into the legislative, executive and judicial branches. This separation of powers was designed to ensure that government does not become oppressive. As James Madison put it, combining these powers into one branch would be "the very definition of tyranny." Unfortunately, the three branches ...

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 ...