Daniel M. Ortner

Attorney Sacramento

Daniel M. Ortner joined Pacific Legal Foundation in the fall of 2018, focusing on the First Amendment, property rights, economic liberty, and curtailing the overreach of the administrative state.

Daniel graduated Summa Cum Laude and first in his class from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He comes to  Pacific Legal Foundation after two appellate clerkships on the Utah Supreme Court and the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Daniel is grateful to have been mentored by incredible jurists with a passion for originalism and for bringing empirical tools such as corpus linguistics to bear on statutory interpretation. He has also published extensively on First Amendment topics including freedom of speech, freedom of association, and free exercise of religion.

Daniel was born in Israel and moved to the United States at a young age. He is grateful for the incredible blessings of liberty that he has enjoyed in the United States and particularly for the freedoms to think, speak, worship, and associate that are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Outside of work, Daniel spends time with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He loves to play board games, watch movies, and serve in his local church congregation.

Daniel is currently licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits. He is not yet licensed in California.

Cases

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July 05, 2019

Supreme Court: Freedom of speech still applies to offensive speech

The First Amendment protects your right to say things that are crude, disparaging, immoral, or scandalous. It protects George Carlin's monologues the same as Shakespeare's sonnets. And it also means the government cannot deny you a trademark just because it doesn't like your brand name or message. Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down ...

July 02, 2019

Regulating fisheries out of business won’t protect the oceans

When government regulations for America’s coastline go too far there are real consequences. Beach homeowners feel these abuses most often when they're forced to give up their property or acquiesce to absurd bureaucratic rules. But when the government sweeps in like a red tide, beachfront homeowners aren't the only victims. Small businesses ca ...

June 17, 2019

A First Amendment win: Supreme Court rules the government can’t control private speech

Property and free speech rights both scored a big victory at the Supreme Court this week, when the Court decided Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck. Although the facts of this case focus narrowly on public access television networks, the Supreme Court's decision has significant implications for all property owners, the internet, and social ...

June 11, 2019

Government regulations for social media companies that censor political speech? No thanks

In recent weeks, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have banned hate groups and controversial figures such as Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Alex Jones of Infowars, and others. This resulted in a chorus of criticism from politicians (across the ideological spectrum), pundits, and the general public. The Trump admini ...

June 03, 2019

Scar tattoos are a First Amendment right too

Tattoos are one of the oldest forms of expression, and throughout human history, people have assigned deep artistic, religious, political, and spiritual meaning to these pieces of body art. Tattoos are painted onto the human form rather than parchment or canvas, but they are protected by the First Amendment just like a painting by Van ...

May 20, 2019

The Hill: The slippery slope of trying to curb ‘extremist’ speech

The world watched in horror as a deranged killer live-streamed himself murdering Muslims attending two mosques in New Zealand. In the wake of the shooting, many have called for tighter restrictions on "extremist" speech by government. The leaders of New Zealand and France have drafted the "Christchurch Call to Action," a nonbinding resolution that ...

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