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Economic Liberty

Mark Shirley and Ole Time Smokehouse v. Town of Farmville, et al.

Food truck entrepreneur defends livelihood from North Carolina town’s unlawful interference

Mark Shirley was making a good living as the general manager of an auto dealership in Eastern North Carolina, but even his comfortable salary couldn’t feed his lifelong passion for cooking. So, in September 2019, after a year of exhaustive research into the restaurant industry, Mark left his profitable job to launch a food truck business call ...

The Clementine Co. v. Cuomo, The Clementine Co. v. de Blasio

Mayor de Blasio’s unequal COVID restrictions silence New York theaters, comedy clubs

New York City actress and theater manager Catherine Russell began her starring role in Perfect Crime in 1987. Over that time, she missed only four days—to attend family weddings—a record-setting run of more than 12,000 performances that lasted until March 2020 when the pandemic was declared. At that point, Catherine implemented extensive COVID ...

Celeste Mohr, D.D.S., et al. v. Texas State Board of Dental Examiners et al.

Defending the right to practice teledentistry from state-sponsored protectionism

Dr. Celeste Mohr began practicing teledentistry as a way to pursue a livelihood while also staying at home to care for her two autistic children. She offers her remote dental consultations via TheTeleDentists, a startup teledentistry platform that offers direct-to-consumer services. As with other types of telemedicine, teledentistry uses video, pho ...

Ursula Newell-Davis & Sivad Home and Community Services, LLC v. Courtney N. Phillips, et al.

New Orleans social worker challenges Louisiana law that stopped her from helping special needs children and their families

Ursula Newell-Davis cares deeply for those most in need in her New Orleans community. After two decades of working with special needs children, she decided to launch a company that would provide much-needed respite services to this vulnerable population. Inspired by her experience as a special needs parent herself, Ursula wants to give these childr ...

Crystal Waldron and Club 519 v. Governor Roy A. Cooper

North Carolina couple fights to save bar from governor’s unlawful COVID power grab

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper unilaterally declared a state of emergency that only he is authorized to end. Since then, the governor has issued a series of executive orders that allow nearly every establishment that sells alcoholic beverages to remain open but that force most private bars (establishments whic ...

Ramirez et al. v. Lamont et al.

Connecticut nail salon owner fights for fair treatment under “shutdown” orders

In early March 2020, Luis Ramirez closed his Hartford, CT, nail salon, following Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders for statewide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luis and his wife, Rosiris, have since struggled to earn income and pay rent on their salon. When Luis and Rosiris thought they’d be able to reopen on May 20, they scrap ...

Abad, et al. v. Bonham, et al.

Government’s misguided battle threatens California fishermen and their way of life

Swordfish is a very popular seafood and one of the most abundant types of fish on the West Coast. It is also a primary source of income and way of life for many California families. But a recently enacted state statute threatens to wipe out longtime businesses, as well as the entire domestic swordfish supply. To preserve an industry that’s fe ...

Anthony Barilla v. City of Houston

Accordionist fights government squeeze on free expression and livelihood

Anthony (Tony) Barilla is a highly accomplished accordionist who wants to busk—that is, perform in public for tips—on the streets of Houston, Texas. A city law, however, prohibits busking activities everywhere except Houston’s very small Theater District. There, artists may accept tips for their performances, but only after completing an ...

American Society of Journalists and Authors v. Bonta

California’s freelancer law destroys journalists’ freedom, autonomy

In an effort to regulate the employment status of independent contractors, California passed a law forcing companies in the state to reclassify most freelancers as employees. Under AB 5, freelance journalists and photographers must cap their submissions at 35 per year, per publisher. Anything greater, and they become employees, losing their profess ...

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