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 ...

Board room 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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September 25, 2020

The City of Brotherly Love Must Allow Students to Gather

Philadelphia already has some of the most stringent limits on public gatherings in the country (limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors). But because of an outbreak among some of Philadelphia's roughly 450,000 college students, the City doubled down and imposed a total and complete ban on student gatherings of any size. Temple Universit ...

September 16, 2020

The Hill: Gov. Abbott sends Texas tubers up the river without a paddle

New Braunfels, Texas, bills itself as "the tubing capital of America." Every year, individuals travel to the city to enjoy its rivers, lakes and first-rate water park — Schlitterbahn. But this year, while Schlitterbahn was allowed to remain open, businesses that rent inner tubes and rafts to people who want to float down New Braunfels's ...

July 21, 2020

California Department of Public Health offers much-needed relief to personal care providers

Barbers, stylists, and other personal care providers across California were given new hope today. Small businesses all across California were devastated by California Governor Gavin Newsom's March 19, 2020, stay-at-home and shutdown order. No industry was harder hit than the personal services industry, as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, ...

July 21, 2020

The Hill: Smart regulatory reform is an achievable goal ― Idaho has shown the way

Government bureaucracies tend to grow and become more bloated and ineffective over time. Sometimes this seems like an inexorable law of nature, like gravity. But it doesn't have to be that way. Regulatory inertia is not inevitable. Just look at Idaho, which has taken the lead in showing that reducing unnecessary regulation and limiting government ...

July 16, 2020

California hair stylists and barbers should be allowed to work outside

Today the Pacific Legal Foundation sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology urging them to allow barbers, hair salons, and other personal care services to offer their services outdoors. Governor Newsom recently announced that these businesses would be required to halt indoor services once again thro ...

July 14, 2020

The Hill: Quarantines for out-of-state visitors exceeds governors’ emergency authority

At the end of June, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced that anyone coming into their states from other states identified as coronavirus "hot spots" — now up to 19 states — are required to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Ironically, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York earlier in the pandemic ...

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