Caleb R. Trotter

Attorney

Sacramento

Caleb Trotter joined Pacific Legal Foundation in September 2015. He primarily litigates cases involving economic liberty, the First Amendment, school choice, and the administrative state.

After growing up in Oklahoma, Caleb moved to New Orleans to attend college at Tulane University. Roll Wave! After witnessing government screw-ups at every level following Hurricane Katrina, Caleb began seriously questioning big government. The laissez faire culture of New Orleans also began to affect Caleb’s views on individualism, and after being introduced to the liberty movement by Reason Magazine, Caleb began to realize that a career in banking was no longer for him. So in 2012, Caleb decided to run for Congress and go to law school so he could advocate and fight for liberty.

Caleb attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans, where he graduated cum laude, served as a member of the Loyola Law Review and moot court program, and was a Federalist Society chapter officer. While in law school, Caleb externed at the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana public defender’s office, and clerked at the Institute for Justice. Those experiences confirmed for Caleb that defending individual liberty through public interest law was the path for him, and working at PLF enables him to do just that.

When he’s not directly fighting for liberty, Caleb can usually be found watching Texas Rangers baseball, performing improv, traveling, or tramping around the wilderness with a camera. Caleb is also an Eagle Scout, and once was nearly clobbered by a golf ball hit by Tiger Woods during the 2001 U.S. Open.

Caleb Trotter joined Pacific Legal Foundation in September 2015. He primarily litigates cases involving economic liberty, the First Amendment, school choice, and the administrative state.

After growing up in Oklahoma, Caleb moved to New Orleans to attend college at Tulane University. Roll Wave! After witnessing government screw-ups at every level following Hurricane Katrina, Caleb began seriously questioning big government. The laissez faire culture of New Orleans also began to affect Caleb’s views on individualism, and after being introduced to the liberty movement by Reason Magazine, Caleb began to realize that a career in banking was no longer for him. So in 2012, Caleb decided to run for Congress and go to law school so he could advocate and fight for liberty.

Caleb attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans, where he graduated cum laude, served as a member of the Loyola Law Review and moot court program, and was a Federalist Society chapter officer. While in law school, Caleb externed at the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana public defender’s office, and clerked at the Institute for Justice. Those experiences confirmed for Caleb that defending individual liberty through public interest law was the path for him, and working at PLF enables him to do just that.

When he’s not directly fighting for liberty, Caleb can usually be found watching Texas Rangers baseball, performing improv, traveling, or tramping around the wilderness with a camera. Caleb is also an Eagle Scout, and once was nearly clobbered by a golf ball hit by Tiger Woods during the 2001 U.S. Open.

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Property Rights

Kansas Natural Resource Coalition v. Department of Interior

Bad rulemaking process threatens good conservation

In 2003, the Fish and Wildlife Service created the Policy for Evaluating Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE Rule). This very helpful rule encourages states, local governments, property owners, and environmentalists to collaborate on innovative conservation programs. The resulting management plans have proven successful. The Kansas Natural Resource Coalition (KNRC), for example, has developed a conservation plan to keep the lesser prairie chicken off the endangered species list. Although the content of the rule enjoys rare bipartisan support, the Service never submitted the PECE Rule to Congress as required by the Congressional Review Act (CRA). On behalf of KNRC, PLF has filed a lawsuit demanding that the Service submit its rule to Congress so it can legally take effect and allow good conservation work to continue.

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Property Rights

Tugaw Ranches, LLC. v. U.S. Department of Interior

Illegal rulemaking threatens livelihoods

Like many western U.S. ranching families, the Picketts have worked on the same land in Idaho for many generations and have a thriving business selling naturally raised beef. And like many ranchers, their business depends on grazing permissions on federal land. But their livelihoods are threatened by rules that set aside over 65-million acres of federal land as a habitat for the sage-grouse — an animal that’s neither threatened nor endangered. In fact, sage-grouse management rules eliminate more than 31,000 jobs.

On behalf of the Picketts, Pacific Legal Foundation is challenging illegal rulemaking by government bureaucrats. Agencies implemented the sage-grouse plans without first submitting them to Congress as required under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). PLF argues the rule is unenforceable until the agencies comply with the CRA, and that it should be properly sent to Congress for consideration and, hopefully, eventual disapproval.

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Personal Liberties

Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

School’s “girls-only” dance team policy is a constitutional hustle

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been dancing since age seven. He is now an accomplished performer who competes nationally on a number of private dance teams. But Freddie cannot join his high school’s competitive dance team—because he is a boy. The South Dakota High School Activities Association established competitive dance as a “female-only” sport. The rule is a misguided effort to comply with federal Title IX requirement that violates Freddie’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

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By Caleb R. Trotter

South Dakota dancing case on hold

We recently noted that in response to our lawsuit on behalf of Freddie Linden, the South Dakota High School Activities Association suspended its rule prohibiting boys from participating in high … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

Braiding hair is not a crime

Earlier this year, I noted that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals endorsed extreme deference to the government when it rejected a challenge by hair braiders in Missouri to the … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

South Dakota will let boys dance

Last month we sued the South Dakota High School Activities Association for its discriminatory rule that prohibits boys from participating in high school Competitive Dance. Today, the Association did the … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

South Dakota must let boys dance

Freddie Linden is a fifteen-year-old dancer who wants to try out for his South Dakota high school’s Competitive Dance team. Freddie began dancing when he was seven years old, and his … ›

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Op-Ed

Missourian: Bill to exclude American Indian artists is too restrictive

Published in the Missourian Match 15, 2018.  As noted in the Missourian on Feb. 11, 2018, the Missouri House of Representatives is considering a bill, HB 1384, that would drastically restrict who … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

New empirical study on regulation of landscape contractors

More and more people are becoming aware of the expansive and burdensome legal barriers that nearly a third of Americans encounter when seeking to earn a living in the profession … ›

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