Joshua P. Thompson

Senior Attorney

Sacramento

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights.

Joshua was raised in a small northern Wisconsin town known as the Home of the Hodag.  [Google it.] While in high school, he was a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany.  He attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was first introduced to the liberty movement.  He worked in the Wisconsin Governor’s Office during college and was active in both the College Republicans and College Libertarians – all five of them. After college he worked on his father’s gubernatorial campaign, before heading off to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. Before his flight Germany, Joshua was given a copy of Atlas Shrugged, which, being the only English book he had that year, was read approximately 500 times.

After his Fulbright year, Joshua attended law school at Michigan State University, where he graduated cum laude, served on the Michigan State Law Review and Trial Practice Institute, was active in the Federalist Society, and played guitar in the law school band.  During his first law school summer he was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow where he clerked at the Federalist Society and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  The second summer he clerked at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Those experiences solidified his desire to fight for individual liberty, and he has been able to fight for individuals’ freedom at PLF ever since.

When he’s not fighting for liberty, Joshua spends most of his time with his wife and baby daughter. He also supports all Wisconsin sports teams, enjoys traveling to see friends in Germany, and he hopes to soon become a National Master in chess.

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights.

Joshua was raised in a small northern Wisconsin town known as the Home of the Hodag.  [Google it.] While in high school, he was a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany.  He attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was first introduced to the liberty movement.  He worked in the Wisconsin Governor’s Office during college and was active in both the College Republicans and College Libertarians – all five of them. After college he worked on his father’s gubernatorial campaign, before heading off to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. Before his flight Germany, Joshua was given a copy of Atlas Shrugged, which, being the only English book he had that year, was read approximately 500 times.

After his Fulbright year, Joshua attended law school at Michigan State University, where he graduated cum laude, served on the Michigan State Law Review and Trial Practice Institute, was active in the Federalist Society, and played guitar in the law school band.  During his first law school summer he was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow where he clerked at the Federalist Society and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  The second summer he clerked at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. Those experiences solidified his desire to fight for individual liberty, and he has been able to fight for individuals’ freedom at PLF ever since.

When he’s not fighting for liberty, Joshua spends most of his time with his wife and baby daughter. He also supports all Wisconsin sports teams, enjoys traveling to see friends in Germany, and he hopes to soon become a National Master in chess.

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Procedural Guarantees

S.S. v. Colorado River Indian Tribes

Federal law deprives American Indian children of the “best interest of the child” standard in custody determinations

Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to address the problem of unjustified removal of Indian children from their parents by “nontribal public and private agencies” and their placement in “non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.” That concern is absent in a private action for termination of parental rights, a private dispute between birth parents in state-court custodial proceedings, involving no government entity. An Arizona court upheld ICWA’s application to this situation, holding that the law need only be rationally related to the government’s desire to protect Indian families and tribes.

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Property Rights

Benedetti v. County of Marin, California

Marin County adopts unconstitutional “forced farming” plan

Marin County’s new Land Use Plan requires landowners who currently use their land for agricultural purposes to remain “actively and directly engaged” in agriculture in perpetuity. This requirement is tied to building permits within the county’s agricultural zone. For PLF client Willie Benedetti, owner of Benedetti Farms and Willie Bird Turkeys, the mandate means he must choose between working forever or retiring and giving up his property. Benedetti is suing the county and the California Coastal Commission for this unconstitutional condition on his right to use his property.

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Personal Liberties

The Book Passage v. Becerra

Saving free speech one book at a time

Bill Petrocelli is the owner of a beloved Bay Area bookstore, and is just one of hundreds of small business owners impacted by a new California law that violates basic notions of free speech. Author events at bookstores like Bill’s are vital to the free exchange of ideas. But the new law deters, if not effectively bans, these events by imposing outrageous regulations on the sales of autographed books.

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Post

By Joshua P. Thompson

Only the Supreme Court remains for disparate impact crusaders

A few months ago my colleague Wencong Fa blogged about the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Hardie v. NCAA. Hardie, a convicted felon, sought to have the NCAA’s ban on felon coaches … ›

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Post

By Joshua P. Thompson

Autograph law repeal now on Governor Brown’s desk

Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.

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