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Author: Ethan Blevins

April 04, 2019

Seattle’s ban on background checks inches toward Supreme Court

Artwork by PLF Client Kelly Lyles Landlords in Seattle can't ask about or even consider a rental applicant's criminal history. This edict was handed down in 2017 by the Seattle's "Fair Chance Housing" Ordinance. The law is merciless: it allows zero flexibility for the gravity or age of the offense or the circumstance of the ...

April 01, 2019

Fox News: Beware the false promise of rent control

This article was originally published by Fox News on March 30, 2019.  Rent control does not work. That's one of the most settled issues in economics, one widely accepted across the ideological spectrum. Yet politicians continue to peddle rent control with a seemingly willful ignorance. Oregon is the most recent state to embrace the rent control ...

March 19, 2019

Rent-bidding websites still banned in Seattle

Seattle loves to sell itself as a tech mecca, until innovation clashes with progressive stereotypes. Then Seattle's arms are not so open, as San Fran tech startup and PLF client Rentberry found out. Rentberry is one of several innovative websites that are trying to revolutionize and simplify the home rental process. Rentberry simplifies and automat ...

February 08, 2019

Time to reacquaint campaign finance with the First Amendment

Today, PLF filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider the First Amendment's relationship to campaign contributions in a case called Illinois Liberty PAC v. Raoul. The case challenges an Illinois law that imposes contribution limits on all individuals and groups except political parties and their leaders. The case would allow the C ...

December 17, 2018

Seattle “democracy vouchers” head to state supreme court

People use money to express themselves. Resistance T-shirts, MAGA hats, donations to moveon.org, promoted tweets—whatever your views may be, shouting louder than the other guy will cost you. So, what if government takes money from one person to pay for another person's expression? Is that really any different from forcing a Democrat to don a ...

September 28, 2018

Seattle can’t ban criminal background checks

Does a landlord have a constitutional right to ask about someone’s criminal background before renting to them? Today, PLF filed a brief in Yim v. City of Seattle unveiling the (obvious) answer: Yes! Seattle’s “Fair Chance Housing Ordinance” forbids inquiries into a rental applicant’s criminal history. And just in ca ...

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