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Author: James Burling

September 17, 2021

The crisis exception to the Constitution?

When a great crisis visits the nation, the niceties of constitutionally protected rights must take a holiday. Only later, once the crisis has resolved, can we go about deciding which rights should be fully restored, and which rights should be modified to meet the new circumstances of a post-crisis world. Rights, after all, must give ...

September 14, 2021

The Hill: Is this the beginning of the end of draconian rent control in New York City?

A century ago, the Supreme Court upheld the nation's first rent control law in Washington, D.C.. A year later, it did the same for New York's "Emergency Housing Law." Soon, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the most significant challenge in decades to New York's latest version of its rent law. The first ...

July 15, 2021

PLF Victories Give Rise to New PLF Victories

In 1922, the Supreme Court relied on the doctrine of regulatory takings to rule that an excessive coal mining regulation violated the constitutional rights of the coal owner. This was a big win for property rights and should have had long-lasting implications. But, unfortunately, the idea that a regulatory taking violated the Constitution went into ...

July 08, 2021

The solution to high home prices: Build, baby, build.

The more something is regulated, the less there is of it. The more government edicts are directed at stopping something, the more desirable that thing becomes. And the more we restrict the supply of something that people desperately need and want, the more it costs. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the median price ...

June 08, 2021

Are mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports constitutional?

As COVID vaccines continue to become more widely available, the conversation has turned to whether the government should mandate vaccinations. Some policy proposals have called for vaccine passports to ensure that the unvaccinated do not harm others, while other proposals ban businesses from inquiring about vaccination status. Are mandatory vaccina ...

May 20, 2021

Moving from equality to equity is unconstitutional and hurts minorities

In a recent Washington Post op-ed column, former neurosurgeon, presidential candidate, and cabinet official Ben Carson makes a sound case against the recent shift toward "equity" as a goal of policy. Carson suggests the enhanced focus on equity, rather than on the more-inclusive "equality," is resurrecting toxic behaviors our society has worked har ...

April 28, 2021

For decades, the government discriminated against Asian immigrants’ right to earn a living and hold property

When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1875, it stood as a beacon for freedom and openness, welcoming immigrants from around the world. Millions came seeking a country where they could flourish and pursue their own happiness. But that promise rang hollow to many Asian immigrants who had to endure a host of state ...

April 01, 2021

Justice Gorsuch understands the nation will survive a landowner victory in Cedar Point

When the Supreme Court took up our Cedar Point v. Hassid case, it was to address a straightforward issue: Whether a California law that forced farmers to accept trespassers onto their property for three hours a day and 120 days a year had taken the owners' property. This is an important issue, because without the ...

March 31, 2021

How a legal precedent stacks the deck against property owners

Property rights are at the core of our country's founding. Yet, as sacred as these rights are to the safeguarding of our Constitution, the government has repeatedly disregarded Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections at the expense of individuals and their private property. This is why defending property rights is such an important battleground issu ...

March 23, 2021

Orange County Register: The Supreme Court must protect the property rights of California farmers

If you own private property, can you keep other people away if you don't want them there? The answer is, "yes, of course." With the exception of the police, health and safety inspectors, and other government-sanctioned visits – all pursuant to strict limitations baked into the law – landowners have every right to keep uninvited ...