Luke Wake

Attorney Sacramento

Luke Wake is an attorney in PLF’s separation of powers practice group. He litigates cases challenging agency rulemaking decisions as contrary to governing statutes and separation of powers doctrine. In addition, he protects the due process rights of individuals and businesses in challenging improper administrative inspections and other enforcement conduct.

Previously, as a senior staff attorney for the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, Luke worked on a wide breadth of regulatory issues affecting small businesses throughout the country. With this background, he understands and appreciates the challenges regulation poses to entrepreneurs and the need for strategic litigation to hold government agencies accountable to the rule of law.

Luke received his B.A. from Elon University in North Carolina and graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. During law school, he completed a summer externship with Justice Robert Edmunds of the North Carolina Supreme Court. After law school, he completed a two-year fellowship in PLF’s College of Public Interest Law, working on property rights cases.

Luke is licensed in California and the District of Columbia.

Skyworks Ltd. v. Centers for Disease Control

Fighting the CDC’s national eviction ban to restore separation of powers

In early September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adopted an order that prohibits certain evictions for non-payment of rent. However, in its haste to enact and enforce a national eviction ban, the CDC overstepped its lawful authority by exercising legislative power reserved to Congress, and it did so at the expense of struggl ...

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September 01, 2020

The Hill: Why governors shouldn’t have unchecked emergency powers

Reasonable minds may disagree on how to respond to COVID-19, but we can all agree that states should be enabled to protect public health and safety during an emergency. We should also be able to agree that the states' responses must conform to the U.S. Constitution. But the current crisis raises serious questions about who ...

July 14, 2020

The limits of a governor’s emergency powers

Even in a public health emergency, the constitution still matters. That's one lesson we can take from the restraining order issued by a California judge on June 12 halting one of Governor Gavin Newsom's emergency orders. The ruling argued that Newsom's order overstepped his office's authority, infringing upon the legislature's lawmaking powers. The ...