Meriem L. Hubbard

Senior Attorney

Sacramento

Meriem Hubbard has been an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation since January 2000.  She litigates cases involving property rights, public finance issues, and preferences in government hiring, contracting, and education.

Meriem’s interest in constitutional law was the reason she went to law school.   She has kept this focus throughout her career.  Meriem’s first legal position was at a private firm started by PLF’s founder, Ronald Zumbrun.  At Zumbrun, Best & Findley, Meriem litigated cases against state and local government agencies and regulators.  Those cases involved a variety of issues, including eminent domain, regulatory takings, fees and taxes, freedom of expression, and educational policy.  Now, at PLF, Meriem has even greater resources to change the law and assist people whose rights are abused by government.

Meriem received her B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, and her law degree from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento.  She was an editor on the Environmental Law Review.

In her spare time, Meriem likes to read and spend time with her family.

Meriem Hubbard has been an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation since January 2000.  She litigates cases involving property rights, public finance issues, and preferences in government hiring, contracting, and education.

Meriem’s interest in constitutional law was the reason she went to law school.   She has kept this focus throughout her career.  Meriem’s first legal position was at a private firm started by PLF’s founder, Ronald Zumbrun.  At Zumbrun, Best & Findley, Meriem litigated cases against state and local government agencies and regulators.  Those cases involved a variety of issues, including eminent domain, regulatory takings, fees and taxes, freedom of expression, and educational policy.  Now, at PLF, Meriem has even greater resources to change the law and assist people whose rights are abused by government.

Meriem received her B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, and her law degree from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento.  She was an editor on the Environmental Law Review.

In her spare time, Meriem likes to read and spend time with her family.

Read less
Personal Liberties

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina; Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College

Elite universities sued over race-based discrimination against Asian applicants

Students for Fair Admissions (SFA) sued Harvard University and the University of North Carolina for discriminating against Asian-American and white students seeking admission by requiring higher grades and test scores for Asian-American and white applicants than other racial groups. These policies of racial preferences violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Litigation is ongoing in the trial court as SFA  pursues discovery to unmask the secretive admissions processes.

Read more
Personal Liberties

Rothe Development, Inc. v. Department of Defense

Large battle to end Small Business Act discrimination

Rothe Development, a small contracting business located in Texas, submitted the lowest bid on a Defense Department contract. But because the Small Business Act creates a preference for firms owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, Rothe was not awarded the contract. Rothe sued the Defense Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA) alleging that the preferences violate the Equal Protection Clause. The district court and a split D.C. Circuit court rejected his lawsuit because the statute speaks of individual victims, rather than groups, who have experienced discrimination. Rothe is now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

Read more
Personal Liberties

Doyle v. Taxpayers for Public Education

States may not discriminate against religious organizations

The Douglas County Board of Education’s Choice Scholarship Program offers tuition scholarships to eligible students who attend qualifying religious or non-religious private schools. The Colorado Supreme Court struck down the program as violating the Colorado constitution’s prohibition of any state support of religion. School choice proponents petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. After the Supreme Court invalidated a Missouri funding program that discriminated against religious institutions as violating the First Amendment, the Court granted the Colorado petition and remanded it to the state courts for reconsideration in light of the Missouri decision.

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

PLF in the Daily Journal: Ruling imperils taxpayers’ right to vote

The Daily Journal published my column on California Cannabis Coalition v City of Upland, recently decided by the California Supreme Court  As the op-ed points out, the ruling undermines Proposition 218’s requirements that all new taxes at the local level need voter approval

View the article

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

U.S. Supreme Court rules that some taxpayer funded benefits are available to religious institutions

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court issued a win for the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia  The question in the case against the State of Missouri, was whether the State violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by refusing to allow the Church to participate in a program offering rubber surfacing material to nonprofit organizations The Church applied for the grant so that it could replace the rock surface of a playground at its daycare facility with a safer surface made from recycled tires  Its request was denied for the sole reason that it is a church

The decision was authored by Chief Justice Roberts, who focused on the

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

Victory in residential rental inspection case

Warrantless inspections of residential rental properties are a source of controversy in many California cities Take, for example, the City of Highland located in San Bernardino County The City adopted a Residential Rental Enhancement Program requiring an inspection of all residential rental properties Pursuant to the Program, city inspectors could inspect 70 items in and around rental homes, including everything from contrasting color address numbers to dishwashers and bathroom exhaust fans

Karl Trautwein, who owns a rental home in the City of Highland, and his long-time tenants refused the City’s attempts to conduct a warrantless search of the home  Rather than seek a warrant to search the property, as

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

The Supreme Court will decide whether states can provide financial aid to religious institutions

In 1875, Congressman James G Blaine proposed an amendment to the US Constitution that would have prohibited state governments from funding religious institutions, including religious schools  Although the proposal failed to gather enough votes in Congress, a majority of states added Blaine Amendments to their constitutions, most of which were adopted during the last quarter of the 19th century  On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc, v Sara Parker Pauley, which challenges the constitutionality of Blaine Amendments under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Trinity Lutheran Church operates a daycare

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

California's high court will review pension "spiking" case

Californians are accustomed to controversy when it comes to public employee pensions  Although state and local governments across the country were left without adequate funding of pension obligations following the Great Recession of 2008-2009, California’s shortfall–estimated to be around $475 billion–was the biggest

The California Legislature responded to the crisis by adopting the Pension Reform Act of  2013  The Act excludes compensation paid for the purpose of enhancing a member’s retirement benefit, commonly referred to as “pension spiking”   Public employees, unlike those in the private sector, can increase their pay at the end of their careers in order to “spike” their pensions  They do so by padding the actual base

Read more
Post

By Meriem L. Hubbard

The right to vote on taxes: California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland

Today PLF filed an amicus brief in California Cannabis Coalition v City of Upland  The case was accepted for review in the California Supreme Court in late June  Despite its name, the case is not about marijuana  It is about Californians’ right to vote on taxes  That right was established through a string of voter-approved referenda beginning with Proposition 13 (property taxes), and followed by Proposition 62 (special and general taxes), Proposition 218 (taxes, assessments, fees, charges), and Proposition 26 (levies, charges, exactions)

Generally, taxation cases are brought against government entities when they refuse to let the public vote on taxes, fees, assessments, and other charges

Read more