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.

Ghost Golf, Inc., et al. v. Newsom

Small businesses fight Gov. Newsom’s unlawful color-code shutdown scheme

At Ghost Golf in Fresno, the weeks leading up to Halloween mark the peak season for the haunted house-themed miniature golf center, earning enough money for owner Daryn Coleman and his family to weather the springtime slowdown. This year, however, Ghost Golf has been closed since March, haunted by Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-related busines ...

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

See All Posts
November 18, 2020

Governors can’t single-handedly govern during COVID-19

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, individuals and businesses have taken extraordinary measures to slow its spread. But in many states, instead of working with legislatures to enact reasonable and constitutional COVID-19 protocols, governors have used executive orders and emergency powers to govern single-handedly, without any of the proper ch ...

October 30, 2020

Small business owners are fighting back against Gov. Newsom’s unconstitutional shutdown orders. Here’s why. 

This Halloween will be particularly spooky for small business owners across California, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom's ongoing shutdown of businesses statewide in response to the pandemic. Indeed, many of these small businesses may not live to see another All Hallows Eve. For example, take Ghost Golf, an indoor miniature golf and family entertai ...

October 28, 2020

Handing out candy to trick or treaters in some cities could get you fined

For kids who have been subjected to lockdowns and distance learning for months on end, Halloween this year should be an especially sweet treat. Trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity that is socially distancing and mask-wearing friendly—indeed, kids have worn masks on Halloween long before COVID-19. Kids get to express their creativity, let out ...

October 19, 2020

Temple University rightly clarifies ban on student gatherings

Good news for students at Temple University and other universities in Philadelphia. They are not going to be suspended or expelled for attending church or canvassing on behalf of political candidates. In response to COVID-19, the City of Philadelphia put strict limits on public gatherings. Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, while outdoor g ...

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 ...

Donate