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Author: James Burling

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 ...

February 23, 2021

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution: A Primer

The Fourth Amendment is among the most sacred safeguards of individual liberty embedded in our Constitution. The amendment reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by O ...

December 17, 2020

Real Estate Issues: America’s Sordid History of Exclusionary Zoning

In the summer of 1910, a successful Yale-educated attorney named George W.F. McMechen and his schoolteacher wife moved to an upscale neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. After all, McMechen had achieved the American dream; he and his wife were well-respected, affluent professionals, and they wanted their home to reflect their success. But there was ...

September 22, 2020

If you care about housing, you should care about property rights

The United States is facing a housing affordability crisis. The cost to rent an apartment or buy a house continues to climb relative to incomes, caused by the lack of housing supply. Until we build more homes, we're not going to meet demand, and prices will continue to rise without end. To address the crisis, ...

August 26, 2020

Mr. President, allow more suburban houses to be built, not less

A shorter version of this article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 24, 2020 as a letter to the editor ~~~ In an August 16 Wall Street Journal op-ed, President Donald Trump and Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, pledged to protect America's suburbs against federal regulations and ...