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.

Ramirez et al. v. Lamont et al.

Connecticut nail salon owner fights for fair treatment under “shutdown” orders

In early March 2020, Luis Ramirez closed his Hartford, CT, nail salon, following Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders for statewide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luis and his wife, Rosiris, have since struggled to earn income and pay rent on their salon. When Luis and Rosiris thought they’d be able to reopen on May 20, they scrap ...

Creighton Meland v. Alex Padilla, Secretary of State of California

Fighting California’s discriminatory woman quota law

Last year, California enacted a woman quota law, which requires all publicly traded companies that are incorporated or headquartered in the state to have a certain number of females on their boards of directors. This law ignores that women are making great strides in the boardroom without a government mandate, and therefore perpetuates the myth tha ...

Navigable Waters Cases

Fighting government’s make-believe, illegal definition of navigable waters

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has a seemingly simple purpose: protect the navigable waters of the United States from pollution. The federal agencies charged with carrying out and enforcing the law, however, have expanded the definition of “navigable waters” several times since the Act went on the books in 1972. Represented by PLF free of ch ...

Latest Posts

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June 08, 2020

Our freedom of speech doesn’t depend on what you’re speaking about

The right to protest government is one of the oldest and most revered American traditions. From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights movement to the modern-day Tea Party and Black Lives Matter movements, Americans of all political beliefs and backgrounds have always turned out to protest for justice and liberty. As the Supreme ...

May 30, 2020

The Daily Caller: The First Amendment will be the only casualty in Trump’s war with Twitter

In the ongoing war between President Trump and social media, the casualty may be social media as we know it. President Trump erupted with rage when Twitter posted a fact check of two of his tweets on mail-in voting. In a series of tweets, President Trump revived long-simmering accusations that social media platforms display anti-conservative ...

May 26, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court stay-at-home ruling defends the Separation of Powers and Individual Liberty

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently struck down part of Governor Tony Ever's stay-at-home order because the governor and state Department of Health Services enacted the order without any oversight from the legislature which violated the state constitution. This decision has predictably been viewed through a partisan lens—a conservative Supreme C ...

May 18, 2020

The Hill: Education’s new rules on sexual harassment restore fairness — and it’s about time

Nine years ago, the Obama administration mandated changes to how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Those changes violated both the right of college students to due process and the right of the general public to a rulemaking process that is accountable to the people and not the whims of government ...

May 04, 2020

The Hill: Adjourning Congress to make appointments would be an unconstitutional power grab

Frustrated by the Senate's lack of progress on advancing his judicial nominees, President Trump recently threatened to adjourn Congress to install his nominees via recess appointments. Every president wants to secure confirmation of his nominees, but President Trump's idea is counter to separation of powers principles and Supreme Court precedent. O ...

May 04, 2020

Daily Journal: The Utah Supreme Court leads the way in its coronavirus response

Every year roughly 24,000 students graduate from ABA-accredited law schools and begin the arduous and time-intensive preparations for the July bar exam. This year, however, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown that routine into chaos and left thousands of young attorneys with uncertain futures. In response, many have called for easing the burdens th ...

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