Articles

Why is it so hard to be a California farmer?

September 20, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

In August, California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to drastically reduce farmers’ rights to draw water from the state’s two largest rivers. The decision was just the latest in a series of blows to thousands of California farmers who are struggling to keep their farms alive, thanks to shrinking water allo ...

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The Hill : COVID-19 eviction bans expose deeper hostility toward property ownership

July 26, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

What would you think if the government dictated that you won’t be paid for more than a year but you must keep working? As unlikely as you might consider such a scenario, this hypothetical is Howard Iten’s reality. Iten, a commercial landlord in Los Angeles, is under Los Angeles County’s pandemic-driven mandate to continue running ...

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The Hill : The National Labor Relations Board embraces ‘cancel culture’

April 26, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently declared that Elon Musk violated federal law with this tweet: “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when … ...

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There are better ways to house people than by banning evictions

April 09, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

A common government response to the pandemic has been to freeze evictions to keep people housed. While these moratoria may be attractive on the surface, this shortsighted tactic will only constrict access to affordable housing. There are better paths forward. Pacific Legal Foundation has challenged several of these eviction moratoria in court (see ...

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Momentum is building against the CDC eviction ban

March 30, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

The tide has begun to turn in the legal battle over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Property owners have hammered the CDC with a flurry of lawsuits since the agency adopted an order last September barring landlords from evicting non-paying tenants. PLF is lead counsel in ...

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Multiple lawsuits show how eviction bans are unjust and unconstitutional

March 11, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Local governments and agencies across the country have responded to the pandemic by adopting policies that once would have been considered unfathomable in a country that values free enterprise and individual rights. Among the plethora of heavy-handed responses to COVID-19, the temporary bans on evictions, called eviction moratoriums, rank among the ...

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Real Estate Issues : Seattle Housing

January 08, 2021 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Kelly Lyles is a member of a dying breed: the mom-and-pop Seattle landlord. Her kind has become the target of an increasingly radical city council that has slammed the rental housing industry with a barrage of new-fangled policies over the last five years that protect tenants at all costs, including the cost of landlord property … ...

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The Salt Lake Tribune : Herbert’s unconstitutional power grab threatens state’s separation of powers

December 01, 2020 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

On Nov. 9, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert once again declared a state of emergency in Utah, imposing a mask mandate, limits on business activities and restrictions on social gatherings. What is most notable about the governor’s actions is that this is the second time in eight months that he has limited social and business activity … ...

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Deseret News : How a proposed Utah Bar rule could limit lawyers’ free speech

August 20, 2020 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

The Utah Bar is considering a misguided rule that would impose a “code of civility” on Utah lawyers. The rule is vague, giving regulators too much discretion to punish lawyers who work on controversial issues. It will make it much harder for them to do their jobs well and limit their ability to fight for … ...