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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August 19, 2019

Video game bans are unconstitutional, and they won’t prevent violent crimes

The search for rational explanations in the wake of terrible tragedies is understandable. When people do horrible things, the natural reaction is to ask why. Unfortunately, that same impulse can lead to rushed judgment and misplaced blame. In the wake of multiple recent mass shootings, some elected officials and advocates have suggested banning vio ...

August 12, 2019

The Hill: Government regulation of social media would kill the internet — and free speech

Social media companies have been criticized for disproportionately restricting content that offends political progressives. For example, a Pinterest insider recently leaked documents showing that the platform censors pro-life speech as "pornography." Popular "classical liberal" YouTuber Dave Rubin has complained that his videos are flagged and disc ...

August 06, 2019

The Hill: New York taxi regulator tries to put the brakes on free speech

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized local transportation and broken stagnant taxi monopolies. Ridesharing offers customers convenience and value, while providing drivers the opportunity to earn money on a flexible schedule. But there are downsides to this innovative new arrangement. For example, Uber drivers often work long ...

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 ...

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