This week the staff of the PLF Atlantic Center in Florida and the leadership of PLF nationally took time to celebrate a few of our recent east coast success stories. We celebrated local wins, like the Flash Beach Grille case, and wins further up the Atlantic seaboard, like attorney Christina Martin‘s McLean v. City of Alexandria commercial free speech case in Virginia. We celebrated and said a toast to greater success in the future with clients, with our many supporters and donors at a reception in Palm Beach, and with private attorneys and their guests at a reception in Tampa.
At both of these events, I was struck by the young people who joined us because they love our country and want to see it maintain and re-develop the principles that make our country the greatest on Earth. I wanted to share two of their stories so that you could share a little of that hope for the future that I experienced.
First, we met Deedee Goldstein in Palm Beach. Deedee is a second-year law student at Florida International University Law School in Miami. Deedee accepted a challenge from her fantastic law professor, Elizabeth Price Foley, to compete in the PLF writing competition that PLF offers law students each year. Deedee took on the subject of color-blind justice, as FIU explained in its press release celebrating Deedee’s win:
The paper argues that Title VII’s disparate impact clause directly conflicts with the Equal Protection Clause by mandating quotas with a litigator revolver. The competition encourages students to investigate cutting-edge legal questions that are currently before the courts and that directly affect American law.
Deedee’s commitment to liberty was evident from the way she wrote to us immediately after the reception. Even though she has an excellent clerkship with a law firm already lined up for this summer, she wanted us to find work for her to do for PLF during the two weeks between the end of her classes and the start of her summer clerkship. I am fairly certain that at her age I would have used those two weeks to goof off; she, on the other hand, wants to use that time to work with us to further the cause of PLF’s clients and their constitutional rights.
Next, we spent some time in Tampa with attorneys in private practice on the west coast of Florida who fight for property rights. Jacob Cremer, a young associate with leading property-rights law firm Smolker Bartlett, demonstrated a breadth of knowledge of the law that let me know that the local, state and federal bureaucrats in Florida have a new adversary that they are not going to like. Nothing drives a government attorney crazier than an opposing counsel, like Jacob, who makes the government attorney work beyond the hours of 9 to 5. Jacob’s work ethic and love for his clients demonstrated to me that he will not back down when the government abuses its power and makes unconstitutional demands of his clients. (He impressed me so much that I can even forgive the fact that he graduated from FSU Law.) Pacific Legal Foundation looks forward to continuing to work with Dave Smolker, the Smolker Bartlett law firm, and all the lawyers in the firm, including Jacob.
That’s just two stories. I could tell you more, but these stories represent all the stories well. I met a number of young people this week who believe in the Constitution and plan to make their careers about defending it. I look forward to seeing them join PLF on the battle lines opposing an overreaching government.