Anastasia P. Boden

Senior Attorney Sacramento

Anastasia Boden is an attorney in PLF’s Economic Liberty Project, where she challenges anti-competitive licensing laws and laws that restrict freedom of speech.

Anastasia’s practice largely consists of representing entrepreneurs and small businesses who find themselves in a bureaucratic nightmare when simply trying to earn an honest living.  One of the most egregious examples of the laws she challenges are Competitor’s Veto laws, which essentially require entrepreneurs to get permission from their competitors before opening their doors.  Anastasia has represented moving, limousine and shuttle companies in Competitor’s Veto lawsuits across the country, achieving legislative reform in Montana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

In addition to litigating, Anastasia testifies before legislatures on the impact of occupational licensing on entrepreneurship.  Her writings on all matters of law and liberty have been featured in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and more.  In 2015, Anastasia was selected for the Claremont Institute’s prestigious John Marshall Fellowship.

A southern-California native, Anastasia earned her B.A. with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She was drawn east to attend law school at Georgetown, where she was Research Assistant to Professor Randy E. Barnett (aka the “Godfather” of the Obamacare challenge).  Prior to joining PLF, she worked at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies and at Washington Legal Foundation.

When not lawyering, Anastasia can be found playing classical piano, competing at board games, or watching Jeopardy!  She wants everyone to know that the Beatles are better than the Stones.

Minnesota Assoc. Builders and Contractors v. Minneapolis Public School District

Bulldozing unfair, illegal union-rigged construction scheme

With 75 buildings and 35,000 students, there’s plenty of construction work in the Minneapolis School District. But many hardworking Minnesotans never get a shot at a school project. In 2004, the district adopted a project labor agreement, or PLA, that favors politically powerful unions over nonunion contractors. This type of agreement forces ...

D.M. & Z.G. v. Minnesota State High School League

Discrimination dance: “Girls only” school dance team is unconstitutional

When 16-year-old Dmitri Moua discovered dancing, he found a new way to be a part of a team and build his self-confidence. But when he wanted to join his high school’s competitive dance team, he was denied because he is a boy. Dmitri’s school is in the Minnesota State High School League—whose bylaws declare competitive dance a “g ...

Taylor v. Polhill, et al

Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods

In Florida, you need a license to sell hearing aids. Dan Taylor of Melbourne, Florida, gave up his license after 30 years, because Florida’s outdated regulations were made for older models, not the updated, technologically sophisticated models he and his customers prefer. In a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dan, PLF argues that Florida’s ...

Chef Geoff’s v. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

Chef Geoff clears away unconstitutional “Happy Hour” gag rule

Award-winning restaurateur Chef Geoff Tracy owns restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Only Virginia, however, restricted the way Chef Geoff advertises happy hour specials. While state law allowed businesses to offer happy hour, it banned advertising happy hour prices, as well as the use of any terms other than “happy hour& ...

Nemhauser v. City of Mount Dora

City apologizes after violating First Amendment rights

What started as artistic expression in Mount Dora, Florida, escalated into a bureaucratic nightmare for Nancy Nemhauser and Lubomir Jastrzebski. When the couple painted a van Gogh-style “The Starry Night” mural on a wall outside their house, the city declared the art “graffiti” because it didn’t match the color of the ...

Vaping Litigation

The Constitution going up in vapor

Electronic nicotine delivery systems—vaping devices and e-cigarettes—first hit U.S. stores in 2007. It didn’t take long for vaping to jump from zero to a $5 billion domestic industry, as entrepreneurs quickly recognized a market hungry for an alternative to traditional cigarettes. In 2016, just as the burgeoning vaping industry was gettin ...

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July 08, 2019

Los Angeles Times: Setting quotas on women in the boardroom is probably unconstitutional. It also doesn’t work

California recently became the first state in the nation to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of directors. Now Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts appear poised to establish their own "woman quotas." While undoubtedly well-intentioned, these mandates are likely to be struck down in court. And that's a good thing ...

June 24, 2019

Richmond Times-Dispatch: After an intense legal battle, Virginia restaurants are free to advertise happy hour prices and puns

Virginia restaurants are finally free to unleash their creativity when crafting happy hour advertisements, thanks to recent legislation and a lawsuit brought by restaurateur and chef Geoff Tracy. Believe it or not, Virginia specifically prohibited businesses from advertising happy hour prices and from using puns or creative terms to describe their ...

June 24, 2019

Government regulations shouldn’t be killing entrepreneurship

American ingenuity truly shines in the summer. As we turn down our smart thermostats, sip on our craft beers, eat new varieties of fruits and vegetables, and slather our corn on the cob with artisanal butter, we can appreciate how hard work and imagination have combined to create a pretty fantastic standard of living. Heck, ...

April 08, 2019

The Hill: The ‘competitor’s veto’ is killing entrepreneurship — but that may end this year

This article was originally published by The Hill on April 8, 2019.  It's true that businesses never welcome competition, but imagine if they had the statutory authority to shut out new enterprises. That twisted scenario is reality in over half of states, where entrepreneurs in the medical and transportation industries essentially must ask their c ...

February 20, 2019

Courts can’t look the other way when the government censors speech

When government officials seek to stifle a viewpoint they don't like, they probably won't be forthcoming about it. Instead, they'll concoct a pretextual reason for their censorship or use a "neutral" proxy that, in practice, discriminates against their non-preferred viewpoints. For the First Amendment to have teeth then, courts must be empowered t ...

January 28, 2019

To address government dysfunction, Congress must reclaim its oversight responsibilities

Originally published by The Hill, January 28, 2019. On Friday afternoon, President Trump and Congress moved to reopen the government for three weeks following a shutdown of historic length. The president encouraged a committee of senators and House representatives to negotiate his request for $5.7 billion in border wall funding in the Homeland Secu ...

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