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Author: Daniel Ortner

November 18, 2020

Governors can’t single-handedly govern during COVID-19

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, individuals and businesses have taken extraordinary measures to slow its spread. But in many states, instead of working with legislatures to enact reasonable and constitutional COVID-19 protocols, governors have used executive orders and emergency powers to govern single-handedly, without any of the proper ch ...

October 30, 2020

Small business owners are fighting back against Gov. Newsom’s unconstitutional shutdown orders. Here’s why. 

This Halloween will be particularly spooky for small business owners across California, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom's ongoing shutdown of businesses statewide in response to the pandemic. Indeed, many of these small businesses may not live to see another All Hallows Eve. For example, take Ghost Golf, an indoor miniature golf and family entertai ...

October 28, 2020

Handing out candy to trick or treaters in some cities could get you fined

For kids who have been subjected to lockdowns and distance learning for months on end, Halloween this year should be an especially sweet treat. Trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity that is socially distancing and mask-wearing friendly—indeed, kids have worn masks on Halloween long before COVID-19. Kids get to express their creativity, let out ...

October 19, 2020

Temple University rightly clarifies ban on student gatherings

Good news for students at Temple University and other universities in Philadelphia. They are not going to be suspended or expelled for attending church or canvassing on behalf of political candidates. In response to COVID-19, the City of Philadelphia put strict limits on public gatherings. Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, while outdoor g ...

September 25, 2020

The City of Brotherly Love Must Allow Students to Gather

Philadelphia already has some of the most stringent limits on public gatherings in the country (limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors). But because of an outbreak among some of Philadelphia's roughly 450,000 college students, the City doubled down and imposed a total and complete ban on student gatherings of any size. Temple Universit ...

September 16, 2020

The Hill: Gov. Abbott sends Texas tubers up the river without a paddle

New Braunfels, Texas, bills itself as "the tubing capital of America." Every year, individuals travel to the city to enjoy its rivers, lakes and first-rate water park — Schlitterbahn. But this year, while Schlitterbahn was allowed to remain open, businesses that rent inner tubes and rafts to people who want to float down New Braunfels's ...

July 21, 2020

California Department of Public Health offers much-needed relief to personal care providers

Barbers, stylists, and other personal care providers across California were given new hope today. Small businesses all across California were devastated by California Governor Gavin Newsom's March 19, 2020, stay-at-home and shutdown order. No industry was harder hit than the personal services industry, as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, ...

July 21, 2020

The Hill: Smart regulatory reform is an achievable goal ― Idaho has shown the way

Government bureaucracies tend to grow and become more bloated and ineffective over time. Sometimes this seems like an inexorable law of nature, like gravity. But it doesn't have to be that way. Regulatory inertia is not inevitable. Just look at Idaho, which has taken the lead in showing that reducing unnecessary regulation and limiting government ...

July 16, 2020

California hair stylists and barbers should be allowed to work outside

Today the Pacific Legal Foundation sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology urging them to allow barbers, hair salons, and other personal care services to offer their services outdoors. Governor Newsom recently announced that these businesses would be required to halt indoor services once again thro ...

July 14, 2020

The Hill: Quarantines for out-of-state visitors exceeds governors’ emergency authority

At the end of June, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced that anyone coming into their states from other states identified as coronavirus "hot spots" — now up to 19 states — are required to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Ironically, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York earlier in the pandemic ...