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.

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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October 28, 2019

Trick-or-treating bans violate the First Amendment

What is the scariest thing about Halloween? How about the possibility that trick-or-treaters out after 8 p.m., or teenagers trick-or-treating at any time can be thrown in jail? Unfortunately, that nightmarish scenario is a reality in some parts of the country. For instance, in at least six towns in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, ...

October 09, 2019

The Daily Caller: Don’t expect diversity of thought at University of California

The University of California, Davis, advertises itself as a place "to freely hear, express, and debate different ideas and points of view." But as this new semester progresses, students may begin to wonder why every professor seems to be teaching from the same ideological textbook. To understand why, just look at the California university system's ...

October 04, 2019

California Lawyer: An innocuous Supreme Court case could be a blockbuster

A bankruptcy proceeding isn’t ordinarily what you think of as a Supreme Court blockbuster. But when the bankruptcy proceeding is brought on behalf of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and involves over 100 billion dollars in debt, then everyone should take notice. More than an issue of dollars and cents, the pending challenge to actions ...

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 ...

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