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Economic Liberty

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. Becerra

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 ...

Legacy Medical Transport, LLC and Phillip Truesdell v. Adam Meier, et al.

Family fights crony “Competitor’s Veto” law

Phillip Truesdell and his family launched Legacy Medical Transport in 2017 with one ambulance and high hopes of thriving in the wake of job losses. Their hard work paid off—today, their non-emergency ambulance company in Aberdeen, Ohio, has grown to seven vehicles. Located just miles from the Kentucky border, the company often takes clients from ...

Constitutional Rights of American Indian Peggy Fontenot v. Eric Schmitt, Attorney General of Missouri

American Indian artist seeks to truthfully market her art

Peggy is a member of the Virginia-recognized Patawomeck Indian tribe through her mother’s line and is certified as an artisan by the federally recognized Citizen Potawatomi Nation through her father’s line. In addition to her numerous awards, she has shown and sold her art in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including ...

Minnesota Assoc. Builders and Contractors v. Minneapolis Public School District

Bulldozing unfair, illegal union-rigged construction scheme

With 75 buildings and 35,000 students, there’s plenty of construction work in the Minneapolis School District. But many hardworking Minnesotans never get a shot at a school project. In 2004, the district adopted a project labor agreement, or PLA, that favors politically powerful unions over nonunion contractors. This type of agreement forces ...

Rentberry v. City of Seattle

Seattle’s unconstitutional rent-bidding law blocks innovation, free speech

Rentberry is a small San Francisco-based startup that connects landlords and renters through a rent-bidding website. The company hopes to expand its service to Seattle, however city council adopted a one-year moratorium on the service over concerns it might violate existing rental law and might inflate housing costs—despite no evidence that eithe ...

regulation of hearing aid in Florida Taylor v. Polhill, et al

Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods

In Florida, you need a license to sell hearing aids. Dan Taylor of Melbourne, Florida, gave up his license after 30 years, because Florida’s outdated regulations were made for older models, not the updated, technologically sophisticated models he and his customers prefer. In a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dan, PLF argues that Florida’s ...

Chef Geoff’s v. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

Chef Geoff clears away unconstitutional “Happy Hour” gag rule

Award-winning restaurateur Chef Geoff Tracy owns restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Only Virginia, however, restricted the way Chef Geoff advertises happy hour specials. While state law allowed businesses to offer happy hour, it banned advertising happy hour prices, as well as the use of any terms other than “happy hour& ...

Vaping Litigation

The Constitution going up in vapor

Electronic nicotine delivery systems—vaping devices and e-cigarettes—first hit U.S. stores in 2007. It didn’t take long for vaping to jump from zero to a $5 billion domestic industry, as entrepreneurs quickly recognized a market hungry for an alternative to traditional cigarettes. In 2016, just as the burgeoning vaping industry was gettin ...

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