Steve Simpson

Director of Separation of Powers Litigation |

Separation of Powers

Steve Simpson has spent over 20 years fighting for freedom.

His career in public interest law started at the Institute for Justice in 2001, where he litigated free speech, campaign finance, and economic liberty cases. After a stint doing policy work at the Ayn Rand Institute and working for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, Steve came to PLF in 2019, where he heads up our separation of powers practice group.

Steve has worked on many high-profile Supreme Court cases, including Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, a successful challenge to Arizona’s public financing law for political campaigns, and Swedenburg v. Kelly, which freed wineries to sell wine across state lines. He was lead counsel in v. FEC, the D.C. Circuit case that created super PACs in 2010. At PLF, Steve led the effort against CDC’s unlawful eviction moratorium, resulting in a win in Skyworks v. CDC in 2021, the first district court decision holding that the moratorium exceeded CDC’s authority.

He has spoken and written on a wide variety of legal and policy issues. He has testified in Congress and briefed congressional staffers. He has been interviewed on scores of television and radio programs, including PBS News Hour, Stossel, and The Rubin Report, and his writings have appeared in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is the editor of Defending Free Speech (ARI Press, 2016).

Steve earned his law degree magna cum laude from New York Law School in 1994. Following law school, he clerked for a federal district judge in the Southern District of Florida and spent several years as a litigator at Shearman & Sterling.

When he’s not at work, Steve can usually be found mucking around in the woods at his cabin in the Shenandoah mountains.

Steve is a member of the bar only in the states of California, D.C., New Jersey, and New York.