Articles

City Journal : How to End Home-Equity Theft

January 24, 2024 | By JIM MANLEY

The Supreme Court’s decision last May in Tyler v. Hennepin County represented a major victory for property rights across the United States. The landmark ruling helped protect homeowners’ equity by declaring it unconstitutional for governments to take more than they are owed when collecting a property-tax debt. In the wake of the ruling, ...

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For some school boards, parents are the enemy

December 20, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

This article first appeared in the wall 2023 edition of Sword&Scales. This year California legislators tried to create new criminal penalties for parents who “harass” school board officials or disrupt school board meetings. The legislators drafted a vague bill that defined harassment as two or more acts directed at an education offi ...

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Redlands Community News : State of California must end its home equity theft loophole

August 07, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

According to the Supreme Court, home equity theft — the practice of governments or investors taking more than they are owed when collecting delinquent taxes — is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, it seems California didn’t get the memo. On May 25, the Court ruled unanimously in Tyler vs. Hennepin County that when the government takes more ...

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The Arizona Republic : Arizona counties can take your home to pay a small tax debt, even if it’s unconstitutional

June 27, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

Patricia Miller lost her childhood home in 2010 over only $808 in unpaid property taxes. The mortgage had been paid off many years before, when Patricia’s father, Devoe Poleeson, owned the small Phoenix home. But less than a thousand dollars of unpaid property taxes was all the government needed to sell the tax debt — … ...

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SCOTUS ruled home equity theft unconstitutional…what comes next?

June 01, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

In a unanimous decision last week, the Supreme Court ruled home equity theft unconstitutional, securing an individual’s right to just compensation when their property is seized. For years, Pacific Legal Foundation has argued that home equity theft—when governments satisfy property tax debt by taking a person’s home, selling it, and ke ...

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The mountain man v. the Forest Service

March 28, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

***Editor’s note: Wil Wilkins won his case at the Supreme Court in March 2023. The Court’s decision in Wilkins v. United States affirms that two property owners in Montana will have their day in court to prove that the U.S. Forest Service illegally encroached on their land. It reversed lower courts that accepted the agency’s R ...

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The Federalist : How A Cat With A Gunshot Wound Is Bringing Property Rights Disputes Before The Supreme Court

January 09, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

Not many cases involving speeding and littering end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Fewer still involve shooting a cat. Hardly any will set national policy for property rights disputes involving 620 million acres of federal lands. On Nov. 30, the Supreme Court heard arguments in just such a case. At issue in Wilkins v. … ...

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The Hill : California has a terrible labor law. The Biden administration wants to take it national.

October 10, 2022 | By JIM MANLEY

Three years ago this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law, essentially outlawing freelance journalism and most other independent contracting. … ...

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Free speech protects ideas, including the right to truthfully advertise

June 03, 2021 | By JIM MANLEY

Free speech is all around us, even in ways that might not be immediately obvious. We talk a lot about the First Amendment’s free speech protections during campaign season, when individuals want to express a deeply held idea, when they want to refrain from speaking, and when an idea is deemed “unacceptable” by certain groups. R ...