Thomas Berry

Attorney

D.C.

Thomas Berry is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office. Prior to joining PLF, Berry was a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. While at Cato, Berry co-authored a Supreme Court amicus brief that George Will described as “amusing.”

During law school, Berry interned at both Cato and Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm in Arlington, Virginia. His opinion pieces have appeared in popular outlets including National Law Journal, National Review (Online), and The Hill (Online), and his academic articles have been published in Federalist Society Review, Cato Supreme Court Review, and NYU Journal of Law and Liberty.

Berry holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was a senior editor on the Stanford Law and Policy Review and a Bradley Student Fellow in the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. He graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.

Thomas Berry is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office. Prior to joining PLF, Berry was a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. While at Cato, Berry co-authored a Supreme Court amicus brief that George Will described as “amusing.”

During law school, Berry interned at both Cato and Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm in Arlington, Virginia. His opinion pieces have appeared in popular outlets including National Law Journal, National Review (Online), and The Hill (Online), and his academic articles have been published in Federalist Society Review, Cato Supreme Court Review, and NYU Journal of Law and Liberty.

Berry holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was a senior editor on the Stanford Law and Policy Review and a Bradley Student Fellow in the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. He graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.

Read less
Procedural Guarantees

Gundy v. United States

Congress must do its own job—make laws

The Constitution gives Congress the power to make laws, but not to delegate that power to the Executive Branch. Doing so allows unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to make rules in violation of the Non-Delegation doctrine. In Gundy, the U.S. Supreme Court will review whether Congress violated the Non-Delegation doctrine by empowering the Attorney General to unilaterally make law. PLF’s supporting brief urges the Court to revive the Non-Delegation doctrine, so Congress can no longer dodge accountability by sloughing off its lawmaking responsibilities.

Read more
Personal Liberties

Chef Geoff’s v. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

Chef Geoff fights unconstitutional “Happy Hour” gag rule

Award-winning restaurateur Chef Geoff Tracy owns three restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Only Virginia, however, restricts the way Chef Geoff advertises happy hour specials. While state law allows businesses to offer happy hour, it bans advertising happy hour prices, as well as the use of any terms other than “happy hour” or “drink specials.” Also, while restaurants may offer half-priced drinks, it’s illegal to call these specials “two-for-one.” In a lawsuit filed on behalf of Chef Geoff, PLF argues that Virginia’s happy hour advertising restrictions prevent restaurants from speaking freely and truthfully about their business—a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Read more
Personal Liberties

Vaping Litigation

The Constitution going up in vapor

Electronic nicotine delivery systems—vaping devices and e-cigarettes—first hit U.S. stores in 2007. It didn’t take long for vaping to jump from zero to a $5 billion domestic industry, as entrepreneurs quickly recognized a market hungry for an alternative to traditional cigarettes. In 2016, just as the burgeoning vaping industry was getting off the ground, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stepped in with a rule that deems e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and brand new, severe regulations that will only harm the industry and perhaps overall public health—contrary to the agency’s very mission. Using a unique legal theory, Pacific Legal Foundation is suing the FDA in three separate federal courtrooms—at the same time—on behalf of vape store owners and a harm reduction organization in several states who want to promote a more healthy alternative to smoking. The unconstitutional rule burdens these individuals and organizations in unique ways, but all are united in opposition to its continued enforcement. The FDA’s regulations are not only expensive and onerous, and prevent vaping entrepreneurs from fulfilling what they believe is a humanitarian mission of helping people, but the rule was illegal the second it hit the Federal Register.

Read more
Op-Ed

Investor’s Business Daily: Reining In The Regulatory State: Restoring The Separation Of Powers

Originally published by Investor’s Business Daily September 10, 2018

 

Step right up and visit ring number one
The show’s just begun Meet the President:
“I am here to see that the laws get done”

Hurry, hurry, hurry to ring number two
See what they do in the Congress
Passin’ laws and juggling bills,
Oh, it’s quite a thrill in the Congress

—Schoolhouse Rock, “Three Ring Government” (1979)

 

Millions of schoolchildren were taught about the divided nature of our federal government under the constitutional separation of powers from those Schoolhouse Rock verses

But if this song were updated to more accurately represent today’s federal system, the dazzling three-ring circus would be, replaced by a single monolithic act:

Read more
Post

By Thomas Berry

A “Sign” That San Francisco Isn’t Following the First Amendment

When a local government wants to regulate signs for aesthetic purposes, how should it go about doing that? You might think the answer would be to regulate the maximum size … ›

Read more
Post

By Thomas Berry

Fighting for the Constitution and small business owners

PLF, representing several vape shop owners across the country, has filed complaints against the FDA in 3 separate federal courts.

Read more
Post

By Thomas Berry

Yes, President Trump Can Replace Richard Cordray with an Acting Director

On Friday, Richard Cordray resigned as director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Today, two people are claiming to be the lawful acting director of the CFPB.

Read more