Isaiah McKinney is a litigation fellow with Pacific Legal Foundation. Isaiah was inspired to go to law school to protect constitutional rights, especially to protect property rights from eminent domain abuse. He dreamed of working for PLF since his first year of law school.
Although always interested in liberty, he started digging into libertarian thought while reading Reason magazine in college. Homeschooled through high school, he also homeschooled himself through his online undergraduate degree in history from Thomas Edison State University. After undergrad, he earned his paralegal certificate and worked briefly as a paralegal.
He graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as the vice president of both his school’s chapters of the Federalist Society and Christian Legal Society. He was also a staff editor on the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy, a Symposium issue editor on the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a proofreader on the Journal of Free Speech Law. His student comment for the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy, “Navigable Waters” Does Not Include Mud Puddles, was cited in an amicus brief in PLF’s recent Supreme Court win, Sackett v. EPA (2023).
In law school he interned at the New Civil Liberties Alliance, Pacific Legal Foundation, and the Institute for Justice. After graduating law school, Isaiah worked as a legal associate at the Cato Institute, where he wrote amicus briefs, including two for PLF’s recent Supreme Court win, Tyler v. Hennepin County. Isaiah’s proudest PLF moment came about a year before his fellowship, when he slept outside the Supreme Court in the rain and was first in line for oral argument in Sackett.
His interests outside of work include obsessing over Mariners baseball, fencing competitively, reading literature, and staying involved in his local church.