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.

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. Similarly, in 2018, a Dallas-area election judge ordered Tony Ortiz to turn his “MAGA” hat ins ...

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 ...

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& ...

Latest Posts

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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. ...

March 22, 2019

Houston Chronicle: Election Day choice: Your T-shirt or your vote

This article was originally published in the Houston Chronicle on March 21, 2019. There are some scenarios where you might expect an outfit to raise eyebrows — for example, wearing white to a wedding, a Longhorns shirt in College Station or a dress made of meat to a celebrity awards show. But when Houston resident ...

March 06, 2019

Property rights go up in smoke

On October 10, 2016, Michael and Cathy Zito's beach home in Nags Head, North Carolina, burned to the ground.  Luckily no one was hurt, but as Michael and Cathy were about to discover, the sadness of losing their dream home was nothing compared to the bureaucratic nightmare that came next. The Zitos planned to rebuild.  ...

February 22, 2019

This university professor can speak for herself… which is why she’s fighting for free speech at the Supreme Court

Kathleen Uradnik, a professor at Minnesota's St. Cloud State University, is free to speak with her political science students each day. But when she wants to speak with her employer about her job, Minnesota law says she has to let her university's labor union do the talking. But Uradnik doesn't belong to the union. She ...

February 04, 2019

Freeing workers from the dues deduction trap

When Wisconsin became the nation's twenty-fifth right-to-work state in 2015, thousands of employees like Lisa Aplin were freed from having to pay a monthly fee to a labor union they didn't belong to.  Ms. Aplin, an employee at John Deere, was not a member of the International Association of Machinists union, but for over a ...

February 04, 2019

Water, Property Rights and the Public Trust Doctrine

This article was originally published in The Daily Journal on January 30th 2018. Even if Mark Twain never actually said, "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over," nowhere is this maxim better illustrated than in California, where people have been claiming, diverting and fighting over water since pioneers and prospectors first started r ...

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