Erin Wilcox

Attorney

Erin Wilcox joined PLF in 2018 and works primarily from Austin, Texas. She litigates cases around the country to secure the inalienable rights of all Americans to live responsibly and productively in their pursuit of happiness.

After graduating from law school, Erin defended the individual rights of employees as a litigator for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, was an attorney-advisor for the D.C. Public Employee Relations Board, and most recently fought for liberty in the Lone Star State as an attorney with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. During law school, Erin clerked at the Institute for Justice and was a Charles Koch Summer Fellow.

A native Texan, Erin ventured east after high school to earn a B.A. in history and political science from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law. In addition to liberty, Erin’s loves include college football, Texas barbecue, and a well-made Old Fashioned.

AFEF v. Montgomery County Public Schools

Parents fight racial balancing efforts that deny educational opportunities

Montgomery County Public Schools is Maryland’s largest public school district and one of the best in the state, with a robust magnet program for gifted and talented students. The district recently changed its admissions criteria for magnet programs at four middle schools ostensibly to make the programs more “equitable.” But the ch ...

Adobe Stock Zito v. North Carolina Coastal Resource Commission; Town of Nags Head

Fighting government’s blurred lines on property rights

All Michael and Cathy Zito wanted to do was rebuild their vacation cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina after fire destroyed it in 2016. But state and local governments denied building permits because the property is now within a no-build zone. The Zitos are left with the only vacant lot in a line of beach homes and can do little more than pitch a ...

Ostrewich v. Trautman

Your shirt or your vote: Fighting to protect free speech at the ballot box

When Jillian Ostrewich entered her Houston, Texas, polling place in 2018, she expected the only decisions she’d face would be on the ballot. Instead, an election judge gave her an ultimatum: turn her shirt inside out or forfeit her vote. Jillian has asked a federal judge to overturn Texas’ election apparel law because the First Amendmen ...

Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco

Government can’t force tenants for life

Mr. Pakdel is a small business owner in Ohio. In 2009 he bought what’s known as a “tenancy in common” (TIC) apartment in San Francisco and leased it to a residential tenant. As part of the purchase, Pakdel signed an agreement with the other owners to convert the building’s six units into condominiums. But the City of San Fra ...

Freddie Linden banned from Dance Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

School’s “girls-only” dance team policy is a constitutional hustle

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota can now lace up his dancing shoes as part of his school’s competitive dance team. The accomplished dancer already competes nationally on private dance teams, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) established competitive dance as a “female-only& ...

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January 20, 2021

Houston-area contractors brace for additional racial set-asides

Last year in Texas, both Harris County and the Port of Houston completed their first-ever studies of how public contracts are awarded for everything from paper products to multi-million-dollar building projects. The studies, called disparity studies, found that minority-owned businesses in Harris County and Port of Houston win public contracts at l ...

October 07, 2020

It’s unconstitutional for Fairfax County to discriminate against Asian-American students

Last week, Pacific Legal Foundation sent a letter to the members of the Fairfax County School Board strongly urging them to consider the U.S. Constitution when they vote on proposed changes to the admissions process at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), one of the nation's best and most competitive STEM high ...

April 14, 2020

A Texas grocery chain predicted COVID-19 and prevented massive shortages

Since early March, grocery shoppers across the country have faced empty shelves, long lines, and watchful guards enforcing government rules. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are dealing with shortages of staples like flour, yeast, and (inexplicably) toilet paper in our once-well-stocked stores. The government response to the pandemic ...

November 07, 2019

The NCAA’s new rule lets athletes get paid; some athletes should have been allowed all along

On October 29, 2019, the NCAA shocked the sports world when it announced it was modifying its rules to allow college athletes to profit from the use of their names, images, and likenesses "in a manner consistent with the collegiate model." This is an about-face for the organization that, for decades, has banned student athletes ...

November 04, 2019

The Hill: Free speech rights don’t stop at the voting booth

Voters across the country know tomorrow is Election Day. But what they probably don't know is that when they go to vote, they'll be subject to stringent restrictions on their freedom of speech from the moment they arrive at their polling place. Free speech may be one of our nation's bedrock civil liberties under the ...

July 30, 2019

You have a right to know your rights

For six years, Mike Jackson was forced to pay approximately $600 a year to the Teamsters union. Mike—an employee at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)—doesn't agree with the union, doesn't want to support it, and doesn't think he receives enough value from his membership. But until recently, he didn't have any other choice. ...

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