Direct Representation Cases:




sackett property

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

Supreme Court limits Clean Water Act abuse in victory for property owners

One of the longest-running legal battles in the history of the Clean Water Act doesn’t involve mega-polluters dumping toxic chemicals into America’s major rivers and lakes. Rather, it involves a couple who wanted to build a home on less than an acre of land in a residential neighborhood. And now, that case could have ramifications for p ...

Wil Wilkins walking in mountains

Wilkins v. United States

Government bait-and-switch tramples on property rights and peace of mind

Wil Wilkins and Jane Stanton live next to Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest. A road that crosses both of their properties is the result of a limited-use easement granted to the U.S. Forest Service by the properties’ previous owners in 1962. The general public is not supposed to use the road, but in 2006 the Forest Service began adver ...

Beautiful Home in Minneapolis

Tyler v. Hennepin County

Victory! Supreme Court declares home equity theft unconstitutional

On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court announced a unanimous decision in favor of Geraldine, ruling that home equity theft violates the Takings Clase of the Fifth Amendment. The Court explained that property rights are fundamental and cannot be erased by a state statute that redefines them out of existence. “The taxpayer must render unto Caesar w ...

Equality Under the Law
Colleges and universities cannot discriminate based on race in their admissions processes
Equality Under the Law
December 14, 2021 2021-12-14
Supreme Court of the United States
Equality Under the Law
Ending discrimination against Asian-Americans at Harvard
Equality Under the Law
April 21, 2020 2020-04-21
United States First Court of Appeals
July 07, 2023 | By ERIN WILCOX

The Messenger: High School Lawsuit Offers Preview of Life After Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court has ended affirmative action as we knew it with its decision in the Students for Fair Admissions cases against Harvard and the University of North Carolina. From now on, college admissions officers can no longer use an applicant's race to decide who gets in and who stays out. So, what now? A ...

June 30, 2023 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

The Supreme Court says students should be judged by merit, not race

The Supreme Court's joint ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC is a huge win for racial equality. Both cases challenged the respective universities' admissions policies, which gave preferential treatment to some races over others. Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) argued this practice is incomp ...

June 26, 2023 | By NICOLE W.C. YEATMAN

States rush to comply with Tyler decision

Pacific Legal Foundation’s Supreme Court victory in Tyler v. Hennepin County created a domino effect across the country. State by state, legislatures are banning home equity theft. Governments have realized that they face significant liability if they ignore the Supreme Court's ruling that home equity theft is unconstitutional.   In the New ...

June 13, 2023 | By NICOLE W.C. YEATMAN

Is the Supreme Court putting ‘a thumb on the scale for property owners’?

In her concurring opinion in Sackett v. EPA, Justice Elena Kagan—probably the sharpest rhetorician on the bench, especially when she's disagreeing with her colleagues—complained the Court’s majority was putting "a thumb on the scale for property owners."   Well: Shouldn't there be a thumb on the scale for property owners in the court of ...

June 08, 2023 | By JOSHUA POLK

It’s a great week for ending home equity theft in Nebraska

Only two weeks removed from Pacific Legal Foundation's major Supreme Court victory against home equity theft in Tyler v. Hennepin County, there is once again cause for celebration, especially if you live in Nebraska. In Tyler, the Court unanimously ruled that Minnesota's use of home equity theft—when governments and their private partners satisfy ...

June 07, 2023 | By CHAD WILCOX

PLF’s relentless 50-Year fight to protect individuals from EPA’s ambiguity

On October 18, 1972, Congress enacted into law the Clean Water Act (CWA), giving the federal government authority to regulate pollution and quality standards for the "waters of the United States." On March 5, 1973—just over four months later—Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) became the first public interest legal organization dedicated to protecti ...

June 06, 2023 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Here’s how big the Tyler victory is

On May 25, the Supreme Court ruled home equity theft unconstitutional in its unanimous Tyler v. Hennepin County decision. The case, argued by my colleague Christina Martin, challenged Hennepin County, Minnesota's confiscation of Geraldine Tyler's former home as payment for approximately $15,000 in back taxes, costs, interests, and penalties. Even t ...

June 01, 2023 | By JIM MANLEY

SCOTUS ruled home equity theft unconstitutional…what comes next?

In a unanimous decision last week, the Supreme Court ruled home equity theft unconstitutional, securing an individual's right to just compensation when their property is seized. For years, Pacific Legal Foundation has argued that home equity theft—when governments satisfy property tax debt by taking a person's home, selling it, and keeping more t ...

June 01, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

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

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. ...

May 25, 2023 | By STEVEN D. ANDERSON

Supreme Court announces big PLF victories in Sackett and Tyler

I'm going to remember today for a long time.   This morning—at around 7 a.m. where I am in California—the Supreme Court announced unanimous decisions in two Pacific Legal Foundation cases.   Both are stunning victories.   In Sackett v. EPA, which PLF senior attorney Damien Schiff argued on the first day of the term ...

July 14, 2023

National Review: For University of California faculty, it’s DEI or die

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of o…

July 13, 2023

Is It Time to Stop Asking About Race?

e’ve all checked the boxes on race and ethnicity questionnaires, a staple of most government applications and surveys, and they have never made much sense. On ethnicity, they ask whether you are “…

July 10, 2023

The New York Times: The next battle over colorblindness has begun

Eliminating race discrimination means eliminating all of it. So holds the Supreme Court in two consolidated cases handed down yesterday, While the Supreme Court sharply curtailed the use of race-based…

July 09, 2023 | By ADI DYNAR

The Messenger: How Federal Agencies Stack the Deck With In-House Tribunals

Some federal regulator or another thinks you’ve broken the law. What happens next? You might think that they file charges in a federal court and the judicial system takes over to determine whether y…

June 29, 2023 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Fox News : Supreme Court puts universities on notice, but missed an opportunity

Universities take note — the Supreme Court will not tolerate the fanatical and wanton reliance on race that has become the norm in admissions. In Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North …

June 28, 2023 | By FRANK GARRISON

Bloomberg Law : The Supreme Court May Have Gutted Chevron in Sackett

After a decade-and-half battle with the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael and Chantell Sackett were finally vindicated by the US Supreme Court. Yet one significant part of the Sackett v. EPA op…

June 16, 2023 | By FRANK GARRISON

How To Hold Unelected Officials Accountable? The Constitution’s Appointments Clause

When you cast a vote for your chosen candidate, you are not only making your voice heard in one of our most cherished civic rituals but also endorsing the fundamental principle of democratic accountab…

June 7, 2023 | By FRANK GARRISON

Courts Should Curb the FTC’s Historic Disgorgement Tactics

When the government is caught stealing, it should be required to return what it took. For the Federal Trade Commission, though, such a simple notion is an affront to the way it has done business for d…

June 2, 2023 | By FRANK GARRISON

The Supreme Court Is Not in a 'War on Science'

Last fall, Robert Redford (yes, that Robert Redford) took to the pages of USA Today to offer a dire warning of the dystopian future awaiting us if the Supreme Court reined in the Clean Water Act in Sa…

May 9, 2023 | By FRANK GARRISON

Courts’ Chevron Deference to Agencies Should Go to the Landfill

On May 1, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which is sure to send shockwaves through the administrative state. At issue is the doctrine known as Chevron …

May 1, 2023 | By JAMES BURLING

The Supreme Court Puts In-House Tribunals on the Chopping Block

On April 14, the US Supreme Court unanimously handed a loss on a silver platter to the administrative state. In Cochran v. SEC and Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. FTC, the court concluded the executive adjud…

June 27, 2022 | By JIM MANLEY

The Arizona Republic : Arizona counties can take your home to pay a small tax debt, even if it’s unconstitutional

Patricia Miller lost her childhood home in 2010 over only $808 in unpaid property taxes. The mortgage had been paid off many years before, when Patricia’s father, Devoe Poleeson, owned the small Pho…

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