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Author: Ethan Blevins

July 07, 2020

The Hill: Supreme Court ensures more educational opportunity for kids

Last week, in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court held that states cannot exclude religious schools from tax-credit scholarship programs. Parents who want to send their kids to schools that align with their values cannot be shut out of school choice programs, ensuring more educational opportunity for kids around the country ...

May 28, 2020

Seattle’s rent moratorium would hurt renters and landlords—and it’s unconstitutional

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seattle City Council issued a resolution calling on state and federal government to "impose an immediate moratorium on residential and commercial rent payments…such that no Seattleite should be required to pay rent during this health emergency or accumulate debt for unpaid rent." This extreme proposal goe ...

March 16, 2020

The Hill: It’s up to the Supreme Court to teach Seattle ‘Free Speech 101’

Imagine a law that required Republicans to contribute to Bernie Sanders's or Joe Biden's presidential campaign. Or that the Hollywood left must donate to President Trump's reelection. Would you support such a law? Of course not ― most of us would find such a law to be not only unconstitutional but an affront to one's ...

February 20, 2020

National Review: Ending the Administrative State Is an Uphill and Necessary Battle for a Free Nation

James Madison defined tyranny as the "accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands." Yet, according to many prominent progressives, this venerable principle that inspired our constitutional structure is an existential threat to the modern architecture of the federal government. Take, for instance, a New Repub ...

January 31, 2020

The Wall Street Journal: Seattle and the State Supreme Court Wage War on Property Rights

Landlords are forced to rent to the first person who walks in—even if he has a criminal record. Affordable-housing shortages are an abiding challenge for cities around the nation. But often policies meant to alleviate the problem aggravate it instead. That's certainly the case in Seattle, where the City Council imposed a pair of ordinances ...

January 29, 2020

Seattle’s new campaign finance laws violate immigrant’s First Amendment rights in attempt to reverse Citizens United

This January marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most polarizing Supreme Court cases in recent history: Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. Perhaps intentionally, during the same month, Seattle city officials are pushing through a package of sweeping campaign finance restrictions that defies the ruling in Citizens United. The City ...

December 30, 2019

A Washington court denies Santa’s freedom of speech

In early December, a federal court in Washington held that government has broad leeway to kick people off public property if the government doesn't like what they have to say. The Christmas season timing of the ruling is ironic: The federal court held that the Washington Department of Ecology did not violate the First Amendment ...

November 14, 2019

The Hill: Seattle is trying to handcuff landlords — so they’re fighting to protect their rights

On November 14, 2019, the Washington Supreme Court delivered a disappointing decision for the pair of cases titled Yim v. City of Seattle. Earlier this year, Ethan Blevins wrote in The Hill about these cases and Seattle’s ongoing assault on property rights. ~~~ Last week, the Washington Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionalit ...

November 11, 2019

The Hill: Tech industry’s massive pledge to affordable housing distracts from the real problem

Last week, Apple joined other big tech companies in tossing loads of cash at California's housing crisis. They outdid Facebook and Google with a whopping pledge of $2.5 billion. The money is split into, among other things, an affordable housing investment fund and construction of affordable units on Apple-owned property. Charity no doubt will help ...

November 08, 2019

Seattle homeowners ask Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of Democracy Vouchers

This week, Pacific Legal Foundation asked the Supreme Court of the United States to grapple with the constitutionality of Seattle's new-fangled campaign finance scheme, known as the "Democracy Voucher." "Democracy Vouchers" impose a special property tax levy, then give the revenue to private citizens in the form of vouchers, which they can use only ...

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