Chris Kieser


Chris Kieser is a previous PLF Law Clerk rejoining staff as an attorney. Kieser practices primarily in PLF’s property rights group, where he defends the right to use one’s private property free from burdensome regulation. His past clients include Ray and Teresa Burns, who had been prohibited from building a home on their property in a residential area of South Lake Tahoe. He has also litigated in other areas, including free speech, environmental regulation, and equal protection.

Kieser’ articles have been published in the William & Mary Environmental Law Review and the Federalist Society’s Engage journal. He has also written op-eds that have been published in the Daily Journal and The Blaze. In between working at PLF, Kieser 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.

Kieser was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. Graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 with a BA in history and economics, cum laude, and from Notre Dame Law School in 2013, magna cum laude. At NDLS, he was an Articles Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review and an active member of the school’s Federalist Society chapter.

When Kieser’s not at work, you’re likely to find him rooting on the Mets and Fighting Irish or arguing about some arcane point of law (because apparently that doesn’t happen enough at work).

Kieser is currently licensed to practice in California, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Central Districts of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board

Fighting Race-Based Discrimination at Nation’s Top-Ranked High School

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, or TJ, is the nation’s top-ranked public high school. Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) recent changes to TJ’s admissions process specifically aim to reduce the number of Asian-American children—and only Asian-American children—who can attend TJ. The school district& ...

cedar_point-Nursery Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Fruit growers ask the Supreme Court to restore the right to turn away union trespassers

Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company are California growers that produce fruit for millions of Americans. Collectively, they employ around 3,000 Californians. In 2015, the United Farm Workers (UFW) viewed the workers as ripe for the picking and sent union organizers to storm the workplaces during harvest time to encourage them to unionize ...

Seider v. City of Malibu

Property rights on the line in family’s battle for beachfront signage

Dennis and Leah Seider simply want to alert beachgoers to where the public right of access to the beach ends, the Seiders’ private Malibu property begins, and the way to the nearby public beach. Their best hope to protect their property rights and avoid potential confrontations with beachgoers would be a sign. But that hope faded when they le ...

AFEF v. Montgomery County Public Schools

Parents fight racial balancing efforts that deny educational opportunities

Montgomery County Public Schools is Maryland’s largest public school district and one of the best in the state, with a robust magnet program for gifted and talented students. The district recently changed its admissions criteria for magnet programs at four middle schools ostensibly to make the programs more “equitable.” But the ch ...

Pavlock v. Indiana

Family sues to stop Indiana’s beachfront land grab

The Pavlock family has owned property along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline for generations. Last year, a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court redefined state law to move lakefront owners’ property lines from the water’s edge or below to the lake’s ordinary high-water mark, turning large swaths of private beach into public ...

CTPU Case Connecticut Parents Union v. Cardona

Race-based quotas in Connecticut schools hurt Black and Hispanic students

Each year, world-class magnet schools in Connecticut deny admission to thousands of deserving children while leaving available seats empty—because of skin color. State law requires magnet schools’ enrollment to be at least 25 percent white or Asian. This means Black and Hispanic students are turned away if their admission would push minorit ...

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March 22, 2021

National Review: A SCOTUS case that could shape property rights for years to come

California growers Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company pride themselves on treating their employees with dignity and respect. Neither company's employees wanted to unionize. Perhaps that is why the United Farm Workers invoked a California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) regulation that grants union organizers the right to acces ...

February 17, 2021

SCOTUSblog: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act: Equal opportunity vs. disparate impact

The following article appeared in a SCOTUSblog symposium on Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. PLF filed an amicus brief in support of the Arizona attorney general and the Arizona Republican Party. Our case preview is here. In the aftermath of the chaos that was the 2020 election-related litigation, it is easy to forget that the ...

November 05, 2020

Daily Journal: This land is your land – but Malibu won’t let you tell anyone

Whether you live in a city, a suburb, or out in the country, you have probably seen a “private property” or “no trespassing” sign. Such signs are ubiquitous across America and can be extremely helpful in protecting and preserving property rights. But some property owners find that it is harder than expected to put up ...

October 13, 2020

Daily Journal: Supreme Court to hear important Voting Rights Act case

The Voting Rights Act is one of the most successful pieces of legislation ever enacted. In the years immediately after its passage, record numbers of African-American registered and voted. Indeed, by 2012 African-American voting rates were the highest of any demographic in the country. Nevertheless, each election cycle Americans have grown accustom ...

January 07, 2020

The Times of Northwest Indiana: Indiana Supreme Court’s decision on Lake Michigan beach access is unconstitutional. Here’s why.

Randy and Kimberley Pavlock built their small family home along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Porter, Indiana, with their own hands. The Pavlocks have owned the property for five generations, and love being "beach people." Their home and private beach on Lake Michigan are the center of their family life, as they often hold fish ...

March 04, 2019

PLF client publishes op-ed on racial discrimination in New York City schools

This past weekend, the New York Post published a powerful op-ed written by Wai Wah Chin, president of PLF client Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY). In the piece, Wai Wah decries Mayor Bill de Blasio and Education Chancellor Richard Carranza's effort to racially balance New York City's renowned specialized high schools ...