The constitutionality of legislatively imposed exactions

February 21, 2024 | By JAMES BURLING

“Where once government was closely constrained to increase the freedom of individuals, now property ownership is closely constrained to increase the power of government. Where once government was a necessary evil because it protected private property, now private property is a necessary evil because it funds government programs.” 1San R ...


Property rights in Jamestown : Bowling and starving in the New World

November 30, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

A few miles from Williamsburg, Virginia, there is a wonderful museum dedicated to the Jamestown Colony. Along the banks of the James River, the museum boasts a re-creation of the stockades, living and work quarters, a few early colony ships, and all those things that make up a colony of settlers in a brand New … ...


The Messenger : The Supreme Court’s New Term—Fishing, Free Speech on the Internet, Wealth Tax and More

September 28, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

One of the biggest cases of the Supreme Court’s October term involves a fishing boat, in which the owner has thrown out a line to the court hoping to snag the Chevron Doctrine. To regulate the fishing industry, the federal government demands that fishing boats allow federal “observers” on board to watch how and which … ...


With Sackett decision, Supreme Court says agencies can’t gift themselves unlimited powers

June 01, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

From a single word in the 1977 Amendments to the Clean Water Act, the federal government built a mighty regulatory empire over millions of acres of private property. Last Thursday, thanks to Mike and Chantell Sackett, their attorneys at Pacific Legal Foundation, and nine Justices at the Supreme Court, the borders of that empire receded. … ...


It’s a limited government, after all

March 14, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

Not every problem has a solution, but that doesn’t seem to stop the government from attempting to supply one—even if the solution will make things worse. And even if the government doesn’t have the authority to solve a particular problem. Recognizing the history of governments around the world to solve problems by controlling people&# ...


The Hill : Expect fireworks from the Supreme Court’s 2022-2023 term

September 26, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Although the Supreme Court likely won’t be talking much about guns and abortions this term, there will be fireworks on issues ranging from race preferences at colleges, to California’s politically correct bacon regulations, to the perennial question of what the heck is a wetland subject to federal control? Wrapped up in the court’ ...


What is a writ of certiorari?

August 09, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Every year, Americans read about cases going to the Supreme Court and the potential legal and constitutional implications of those cases. The Supreme Court is unique because the Supreme Court Justices choose which cases the Court hears. But unless you’re a lawyer or a Supreme Court junkie, the process for how they choose those cases … ...


A man who grew the PLF community : Dick Bradley, 1929–2022

July 19, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Next year Pacific Legal Foundation will be celebrating our 50th anniversary. It’s a milestone we would not have reached without the tireless work and indefatigable enthusiasm of people like Dick Bradley, who just passed away at the age of 93.   Since Dick won’t be here for next year’s celebrations, I want to take a … ...


Apocalypse not : What West Virginia v. EPA really means

July 15, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

On July 5, Axios not-so-subtly warned us that “the Supreme Court’s next target is the executive branch.” The Guardian’s headline was even more stark: “The U.S. Supreme Court has declared war on the Earth’s future.”   With headlines like these, you might think we’re experiencing the end times. Or, as ...