December 10, 2012

Defending free speech and free enterprise in Nebraska

By Defending free speech and free enterprise in Nebraska

A few months ago we told you about our lawsuit on behalf of internet entrepreneur Leslie Young, whose business helps people advertise their homes “for sale by owner.” According to bureaucrats with the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, it’s against the law—indeed, a criminal offense!—to tell the public that there’s a home for sale by owner in that state, because doing so qualifies as unlicensed real estate brokerage. We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging the state’s violation of Ms. Young’s rights to free speech and economic liberty, and the state has now filed a motion to dismiss. Today, we filed this brief urging the court to give Ms. Young her day in court. The state argues that she was required to go through an administrative hearing instead of asking federal courts to protect her rights to free speech and economic liberty. But as we point out in the brief, the reason we have civil rights laws is to allow people to seek federal protection for their constitutional rights when the state violates those rights. You can learn more about this case by watching our video or reading our litigation backgrounder.

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