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 fights unconstitutional “Happy Hour” gag rule

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

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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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 ...

December 21, 2018

There’s no evidence that truthful happy hour advertising sends Virginians into a binge fest

We've finally made it to the merits in our happy hour advertising lawsuit against Virginia's absurd censorship regime. It's been a struggle. As I detailed in the Washington Post, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) and the state Attorney General's office have barraged our plaintiffs with onerous and time-consuming discovery requ ...

November 30, 2018

It’s last call for Virginia’s unconstitutional happy-hour advertising laws

Originally published in The Washington Post, November 30, 2018. It's been almost a year since Geoff Tracy and his restaurant, Chef Geoff's, filed a First Amendment lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down Virginia's happy-hour advertising laws. In the Old Dominion, it's legal for businesses to offer happy hour. It's just illegal for them ...

November 30, 2018

It’s last call for Virginia’s unconstitutional happy-hour advertising laws

Originally published by The Washington Post, November 30, 2018 It's been almost a year since Geoff Tracy and his restaurant, Chef Geoff's, filed a First Amendment lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down Virginia's happy-hour advertising laws. In the Old Dominion, it's legal for businesses to offer happy hour. It's just illegal for them ...

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