Charles Yates

Attorney Sacramento

Chris Kieser practices in PLF’s property rights and equality before the law practice groups.

His property rights clients include Cedar Point Nursery, which challenged a California regulation requiring them to allow union organizers to invade their private property, as well as Randall and Kimberley Pavlock, who are fighting back against Indiana’s beachfront land grab along Lake Michigan.

Under equality before the law, Chris represents coalitions of Asian-American parents challenging discriminatory admissions policies for selective K-12 schools in New York City; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Virginia. He also represents a parent organization in Connecticut challenging a racial quota that prevents many Black and Hispanic students from enrolling at the state’s magnet schools.

Chris has published law review articles in the William & Mary Environmental Law Review and the Federalist Society Review. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Daily News, National Review, The Blaze, the Daily Journal, and SCOTUSblog.

Chris clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Honorable Thomas D. Schroeder of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. He holds a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, and graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in 2013. At Notre Dame, he was an articles editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.

Growing up on Long Island, Chris developed a deep passion for limited government and individual liberty, arguing with his more numerous progressive classmates. This experience made him deeply skeptical that government tinkering at the expense of individual rights ever works, whether it be denying a property owner the use of his land or a student a seat at her desired school because of her race. He chose PLF because it is the national leader in litigation that furthers individual liberty.

When he’s not working, you’re likely to find Chris rooting for the Mets and Fighting Irish or debating some arcane point of law (because apparently that doesn’t happen enough at work).

Chris is currently licensed to practice in California and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Central Districts of California, the Northern District of Indiana, and the Northern District of Illinois.

Skipper v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Illegal critical habitat designation punishes family’s voluntary conservation efforts

The Skipper family has owned forestland in Clarke County, Alabama, since 1902, which it manages for timber production and conservation. In 1956 they established the Scotch Wildlife Management Area (WMA), agreeing to voluntarily open their land for the state’s wildlife conservation efforts and outdoor recreation. In February 2020, the U.S. Fis ...

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February 22, 2021

The Hill: The SUNSET provision for old regulations will improve agency accountability

With President Biden's first 100 days well under way, the Trump administration's regulatory reform agenda might seem like a distant memory. But one rule, known as Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely (SUNSET), finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services on the previous administration's last full day in office, is ...

December 08, 2020

Daily Journal: High court should require agencies to be transparent about decision-making

In a letter written late in his life to Kentucky legislator William Barry, James Madison warned that a "popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." In the context of the sprawling and often unaccountable modern administrative state these words ...

May 11, 2020

The Golden Conure is no longer endangered, but it took bureaucrats years to follow their own rules and acknowledge it

Following two successive PLF lawsuits, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month reclassified the golden conure from endangered to threatened. The decision—which, according to Congress' wishes, should have been finalized much earlier—recognizes the bird's improved status and removes unnecessary federal regulations. Native to the Amazon basi ...