Anthony L. Francois

Senior Attorney

Sacramento

Tony Francois is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office, and has litigated cases around the country defending Americans’ property rights from land use and environmental restrictions. He is a member of the California State Bar and also practices before several federal trial and appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating from college in 1987, Tony has continuously fought government, starting with other countries’ governments as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He served in the former West Germany at the close of the Cold War and personally removed a portion of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Close proximity to the Soviet and Warsaw Pact communist governments of the Cold War gave him a permanent desire to defend freedom against government tyranny.

The end of the Cold War and return to the States in the early 90s led him to see that many government abuses were taking hold in our country as well. Tony was also inspired to trade the military barracks for the courtroom by reading about abuses imposed by the IRS on American taxpayers, and well as the epic conflict between Wayne Hage and the U.S. Forest Service over grazing and water rights in the Western States.

Tony graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996 with honors. After representing farmers, ranchers, and other landowners in private law practice and then for a decade as a policy advocate before the California legislature, Tony joined PLF in 2012. In his off hours, he enjoys martial arts, Giants baseball, reading history, and raising his family with his wife in Sacramento.

Tony Francois is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office, and has litigated cases around the country defending Americans’ property rights from land use and environmental restrictions. He is a member of the California State Bar and also practices before several federal trial and appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating from college in 1987, Tony has continuously fought government, starting with other countries’ governments as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He served in the former West Germany at the close of the Cold War and personally removed a portion of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Close proximity to the Soviet and Warsaw Pact communist governments of the Cold War gave him a permanent desire to defend freedom against government tyranny.

The end of the Cold War and return to the States in the early 90s led him to see that many government abuses were taking hold in our country as well. Tony was also inspired to trade the military barracks for the courtroom by reading about abuses imposed by the IRS on American taxpayers, and well as the epic conflict between Wayne Hage and the U.S. Forest Service over grazing and water rights in the Western States.

Tony graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996 with honors. After representing farmers, ranchers, and other landowners in private law practice and then for a decade as a policy advocate before the California legislature, Tony joined PLF in 2012. In his off hours, he enjoys martial arts, Giants baseball, reading history, and raising his family with his wife in Sacramento.

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Procedural Guarantees

Timbs v. Indiana

Excessive Fines Clause applies to all governments

PLF has joined a crucial case brought by our allies at Institute for Justice to address a situation faced by many PLF clients—fines and forfeitures that far outweigh their alleged offenses. Tyson Timbs argues in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that such disproportionate punishments by state and local governments violate the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause. PLF’s supporting brief highlights a number of cases from around the country that demonstrate the damage to individual liberty and property ownership by these power abuses.

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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.

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Property Rights

Weyerhaeuser/Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Supreme Court hears “phantom frog” case

As a child, Edward Poitevent’s family cut down Christmas trees on their lumber-rich land in Louisiana, and one day he’d like to leave the property to his own children. But federal bureaucrats jeopardized his legacy when they declared nearly 1,500 acres of his family’s private land as a critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog—a species not seen in the state for more than 50 years. Neither the Endangered Species Act nor congressional intent justifies such government-sanctioned property theft. Represented by PLF, Edward sued and on October 1st, 2018, he will join another affected property owner, Weyerhaeuser Company, at the U.S. Supreme Court to defend their constitutionally protected property rights. Oral argument held at U.S. Supreme Court on October 1, 2018.

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Op-Ed

Investor’s Business Daily: Only Strong Judicial Review Can Restore Separation Of Powers

Originally published by Investor Business Daily September 19, 2018

We all expect “our day in court” before the government takes our money or restricts our freedom Even for a parking ticket, we expect the chance to “tell it to the judge” before paying the fine

We expect that judges will hold the police to the rules, and clarify the rules if needed But we also expect the judge to be neutral, or what value is a day in court?

Without judges to fairly check the police, clear rules become vague A simple rule like “don’t park in the red zone” becomes “don’t park too close to the red

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Post

By Anthony L. Francois

Senators indict themselves during first day of Kavanaugh confirmation scrum

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. And while most would rightly expect it to be excessively partisan, the … ›

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Post

By Anthony L. Francois

The EPA should get on with Clean Water Act reform

For many years, PLF has served as advocate for ordinary Americans facing byzantine regulation of their land by the EPA’s water bureaucrats. In 2006 our client John Rapanos won his … ›

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By Anthony L. Francois

Joe Robertson retains PLF to take his case to the Supreme Court

Pacific Legal Foundation is proud to have been asked by Joe Robertson, an elderly Navy veteran from Montana, to represent him in the Supreme Court of the United States, in … ›

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By Anthony L. Francois

Marks madness continues – because Supreme Court did its job

Aside from today’s highly anticipated First Amendment case involving something about cakes, the Supreme Court also issued an important decision in Hughes v. United States. The Court accepted Hughes as … ›

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Post

By Anthony L. Francois

The government must abide by the Clean Water Act too.

Today Pacific Legal Foundation is asking the federal court to dismiss the U.S. Army’s Clean Water Act case against our client Jack LaPant in United States v LaPant. The federal government … ›

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