President's weekly report — February 1, 2013

February 01, 2013 | By ROB RIVETT

Individual Rights — Defending the right to petition our government.

Hollingsworth v. Perry in the U.S. Supreme Court. We addressed the question whether sponsors of initiatives have standing to defend those initiatives in court — especially when a state’s attorney general refuses to defend the measure. PLF’s amicus brief, filed on our behalf as well as various sponsors of other successful California initiatives that have limited taxes and banned state-sponsored discrimination, argues that sponsors of voter-adopted initiatives have standing to defend those laws.

Individual Rights — Equality Under the Law Project

PLF filed an amicus brief in the Iowa Supreme Court in Pippen v. Iowa. In this case, plaintiffs are suggesting that there is an “implicit bias” harbored by the entirety of Iowa’s government that causes pervasive racial discrimination by the state. PLF’s amicus brief argues that the “implicit bias” theory is not sufficient to state a prima facie claim of racial discrimination in the workplace.

Property Rights — Coastal Land Rights Project

The Texas Supreme Court issued a short but sweet victory in Brannan v. State of Texas. This is another case, much like Severance v. Patterson, (photo below) where the state has been declaring lawfully built homes to be “trespassing” on public beaches because the vegetation line shifted after a storm. Because the Court nixed the state’s novel theory with our victory in Severance, it sent this case back to the lower courts in light of its favorable decision in Severance.