Jessica Thompson joined PLF’s economic liberty practice group in September 2020. A fierce advocate for individual liberty and free enterprise, Jessica brings experience litigating separation of powers issues in courtrooms and the court of public opinion.
Jessica believes freedom enables human flourishing. She is passionate about defending individual liberty from a holistic perspective—and fighting for economic liberty is what really gets her blood pumping. For far too long, courts have relegated economic liberty to the junior varsity team of constitutionally protected rights. But in reality, there’s no separating economic liberty from other civil and political liberties. As one of her favorite Institute for Humane Studies professors so eloquently put it, “Economic liberties simply are the physical, social manifestations of the freedom of choice or freedom of conscience that we take so seriously.”
Jessica came to PLF with litigation experience in a variety of state and federal constitutional law issues. As litigation counsel at the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), she presented constitutional challenges to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and COVID-19-related executive actions. She also engaged in appellate advocacy for clients challenging removal protections for SEC administrative law judges and submitted amicus briefs on judicial deference to state supreme courts.
Before joining the NCLA, Jessica was counsel for the Cause of Action Institute, where she defended a popular Internet of Things company against an FTC enforcement action and supported other victims of agency overreach with amicus briefs in appellate courts. Prior to joining the Cause of Action Institute in 2017, she clerked for the Honorable Mark D. Martin, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. She also practiced insurance defense, including professional and medical malpractice litigation, in North Carolina.
Jessica graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in history and in peace, war, and defense. During college, she interned at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, NC. Before attending law school, she was a Koch Summer Fellow at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and, later, a marketing associate at the Institute for Humane Studies. After completing the Koch Associate Program in 2011, she returned to North Carolina for law school, during which she was a summer law clerk at the Institute for Justice and served as a research assistant for Professor William P. Marshall. She received her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina, in 2014.
A Tar Heel “born and bred,” Jessica is a zealous Carolina basketball fan.