Articles

The Hill : Rein in the governors

June 20, 2022 | By DANIEL ORTNER

If we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that emergency power is easily abused. During the COVID-19 pandemic, governors across the country claimed unprecedented power to combat the virus. Businesses were shuttered, schools closed or moved online, vaccinations were required to eat at a restaurant, see a musical, or even do y ...

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Federal judge re-affirms free speech victory, invalidating Connecticut’s unconstitutional donor privacy and fundraising registration laws

January 27, 2022 | By DANIEL ORTNER

This week, Connecticut put the final nail in the coffin of a state law that violated the free speech of charity fundraisers. The First Amendment covers a lot of ground that may not be immediately obvious. Most probably understand that it protects people’s right to peacefully protest, their right to express their opinion, and even … ...

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Issues & Insights : Cuomo’s many abuses show why the separation of powers matters

January 18, 2022 | By DANIEL ORTNER

During the COVID-19 pandemic, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was breathlessly heralded as “the politician of the moment” and the “authoritative voice in the crisis.” His press briefings were carried live on all major news networks and even won him an Emmy. He was seen as decisive and in charge, and he even wrote R ...

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Oregon’s ban on real estate love letters sparks free speech challenge

December 23, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

Imagine you’ve decided to venture into the world of homeownership for the first time and find yourself locked in a tight bidding war—an all-too-common scenario in today’s overheated housing market. If only there were some way you could differentiate your offer and stand out for special consideration in the seller’s eyes…. It t ...

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The Hill : Racial discrimination in vaccine administration undermines public health

October 26, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

Race-based government policies are being promoted more vigorously in the United States lately and they threaten to undo progress toward equality before the law. We’re seeing school boards engineer admissions to achieve racial balancing in classrooms, COVID-19 relief programs that earmark funds for preferred minority groups, and government con ...

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The Oregonian : Oregon gives a cold shoulder to love letters

September 15, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

Don’t even think about sending a love letter. If you are buying a home in Oregon, that is. In today’s very competitive real estate market, buyers’ love letters are a common practice to try to get a little more attention and sympathy from a seller. Buyers can tell sellers what they really love about the … ...

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San Jose State University must respect and protect free speech

August 31, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

American universities are meant to be places to debate ideas and explore novel theories. But, unfortunately, the picture on American campuses today is quite different. Today, disagreeing with woke orthodoxy might get you branded a racist by university officials and threatened with sanctions. This was the unfortunate experience of Dr. Elizabeth Weis ...

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Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun violence emergency order shows why unchecked executive powers are so dangerous

July 21, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

During the COVID-19 pandemic, governors across the country claimed extraordinary emergency power. For weeks and then for months and then for over a year, they used this purported authority to unilaterally shut down businesses, enact health and safety measures, and issue sweeping emergency orders. Such broad emergency power may have made sense in th ...

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New York Daily News : Live theaters, hung out to dry

May 13, 2021 | By DANIEL ORTNER

From million-dollar productions on the Great White Way to shoe-string experimental off-Broadway shows, live theater and performance is the lifeblood of New York City. And yet, for more than a year, productions throughout New York City have been shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, restaurants and bars with live music, bowling al ...