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Author: Deborah J. LaFetra

April 28, 2021

National Review: Free speech in battle with snitch culture before the courts

As a high-school sophomore, B. L. was upset when she failed to make the varsity cheerleading team. At the mall with a friend that weekend, she vented her frustrations by posting a picture to Snapchat in which she raised her middle finger accompanied by the caption, "F*** school f*** softball f*** cheer f*** everything." One ...

March 12, 2021

You shouldn’t need to be rich to defend your civil rights in court

Editor’s note: In March 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Uzuegbunam to allow nominal damages for past completed constitutional injuries. This decision will ensure access to the court (regardless of someone’s wealth) to more people who’ve had their rights violated by the government. *** If the government ...

March 05, 2021

Daily Journal: One step closer to professional freedom

Mandatory bars associations, also called integrated or unified bars, combine government agency regulations with trade association-style politicking. Assuming that mandatory bar associations were best suited to handling admission, education, and regulation of attorneys, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Lathrop v. Donohue (1961) that states did not i ...

March 05, 2021

Labor unions shouldn’t get a special pass to trespass on private property

Which of these things is not like the others? The bullhorn-wielding Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist at Starbucks. Students staging a sit-in at a private college to protest administration salaries and student debt. Animal welfare activists trespassing on agricultural production properties to gather evidence of animal mistreatment. Environmentalist ...

March 01, 2021

Daily Journal: Lease of a lifetime! Can property owners ever challenge San Francisco’s gift to tenants?

Why do people buy retirement homes? To live in them! (It wasn't a trick question.) San Francisco lost sight of that simple truth when it decided that condo conversions presented an opportunity to require property owners to offer their tenants a lifetime lease. Ohio residents Peyman Pakdel and his wife, Sima Chegini, bought a charming ...

November 13, 2020

Jurist: The Supreme Court and the importance of nominal damages

When attorneys file legal complaints in court, they generally request specific relief for the plaintiff, such as a declaration that government action was unconstitutional, or an injunction, or compensatory damages. Then, just in case they forgot something, they add a catch-all request asking for "any such additional relief as would be just and prop ...

October 14, 2020

Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund unions’ political speech

Editors note: On October 13, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the union's appeal of the ruling that struck down release time. Instead of focusing on the statutory ruling below, the state high court appears poised to rule on whether release time violates the New Jersey Constitution's Gift Clause that prohibits a ...

July 22, 2020

Daily Journal: A primer on amicus briefs as a tool to protect individual liberty

As a public interest legal organization, Pacific Legal Foundation litigates in multiple ways: Primarily, we initiate, defend and intervene in lawsuits on behalf of individuals and associations. These lawsuits champion the rights of our clients’ rights, and by extension, all Americans. We file as many as we can. Additionally, PLF files amicus ...

October 31, 2019

Government unions are trying to trap employees into paying union fees for life

Last summer, the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME affirmed that it is unconstitutional to force state employees to pay a public employee union simply to keep their job. Workers may choose for themselves if they want to join and pay a union. Unfortunately, Janus isn't stopping government unions from trying to trap state workers ...

September 10, 2019

The Hill: California workers have constitutional rights — even if unions think they don’t matter

Years ago, when Mike Jackson and Tory Smith started working in the Parking Department at the University of California, San Diego, they assumed they were required to join the public employees' union. Not that it made much difference whether they joined or not. At the time, 22 states, including California, required workers who didn't join ...