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Author: Deborah J. LaFetra

June 10, 2019

The Hill: Public interest litigation is under attack in California

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. the Board of Education, which found racial segregation of schools to be unconstitutional. That famed case, brought by courageous parents in Topeka, Kan., was more than a victory for civil rights: it also illustrates the power of public interest ...

May 28, 2019

Daily Journal: Does California value public interest litigation?

When a school district or a city or a state violates its citizens’ constitutional rights, we applaud when those citizens fight back. But it costs a lot to sue the government. Fortunately, they aren’t alone: Public interest law foundations and attorneys providing pro bono representation exist to help people enforce their rights in court. ...

March 29, 2019

Tell me why?

Everyone has a First Amendment right to remain silent – the government cannot compel speech or association without a person's affirmative consent. In Harris v. Quinn (2014), the Supreme Court held that the Service Employees International Union in Illinois unconstitutionally stole "dues" from Medicaid subsidies paid to more than 30,000 home-based ...

February 22, 2019

Never assume government competence

Last June, the Supreme Court held in Janus v. AFSCME that states could no longer permit public employee unions to garnish non-union employee paychecks to subsidize the union's activities in collective bargaining or anything else, without the employee's affirmative consent. By compelling employees to subsidize speech or associate with an organizatio ...

January 15, 2019

End discrimination against corporate speech

Originally published in The Hill, January 15, 2019. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." George Orwell's pithy lesson from "Animal Farm" describes the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the equality of their citizens, while granting special power and privileges to an elite group. It's also an apt description of ...

January 04, 2019

End discrimination against corporate speech

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." In Animal Farm, George Orwell described the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the equality of their citizens but reserves to an elite group the ability to exercise power and enjoy special privileges. Our Constitution's First Amendment plainly states that Congress shall make ...

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