The due process fence around punitive damages


Author: Deborah J. La Fetra The Texas Supreme Court today issued a favorable ruling in Bennett v. Reynolds. As the court phrased it, “This case involves an extended drought, missing cattle, and feuding neighbors.” Thirteen head of Randy Reynolds’ cattle wandered up the dry Colorado River bed onto Tom Bennett’s land. Due to a ...


"Can hunting endangered animals save the species?"


That is the title of an excellent 60 Minutes segment that aired on Sunday evening.  The story shows how the hunting of exotic game species in Texas has led to an increase of these species’ populations by incentivizing private landowners to ensure the viability and improvement of the game so that hunters will continue to … ...


An interesting battle for school choice in Texas

October 24, 2012 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Six groups crowded into a Texas courtroom this week to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s education funding. Most of the parties just want more money, but two parties are bringing free-market based challenges. The Texas Charter Schools Association is challenging the state’s cap on charter schools, and also argues that fundin ...


Another win on the beach for Texas property owners

January 25, 2013 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

Today, the Texas Supreme Court handed down a short but sweet victory for Texas property owners who had their land and beach homes taken for use as a public beach, without compensation, by the State of Texas and Village of Surfside. The case arises from a long running dispute in Surfside, Texas, a small, but popular coastal area. At … ...


School Choice Week 2013 : School choice on trial in Texas

January 29, 2013 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

School choice was on the witness stand in this case out of Texas that I blogged about last fall. A school choice group called TREE is asking the court to declare the Texas school system unconstitutionally “inefficient.” As part of that lawsuit, the Heartland Institute’s Joseph Bast testified that a private scholarship program fun ...


Economic liberty hanging by a thread

July 30, 2013 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear the case of Patterson v. City of Bellmead. The Pattersons were asking for the chance to prove their allegations that a city kennel-licensing law is unconstitutional. That may seem like a little thing at first, but as I wrote a few weeks ago, the Pattersons’ case … ...


Nothing in life is guaranteed – especially secondhand “as is” goods

August 13, 2013 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Today, PLF filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in MAN Engines & Components, Inc v. Shows, asking the court to resist creating an “implied warranty” for “as is” secondhand goods. Most new consumer products come with an “implied warranty of merchantability.”  That means that anytime you purchase ...


Texas Supreme Court will consider case about what “rational basis” means

January 17, 2014 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

The Texas Supreme Court has announced that it will consider the case of Patel v. Department of Licensing, which raises the issue of what the “rational basis” test means under Texas state constitutional law. Rational basis, of course, is the test that judges use when deciding whether a restriction on economic freedom is constitutional or ...


Texas court confirms boundary rules that leave dry beaches in private hands

July 03, 2014 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

Today, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in Porretto v. Patterson, a complicated beach takings case.  The Porrettos have owned a dry beach area in Galveston, Texas, since the 1950’s. Some of their property lies just seaward of the Galveston seawall, between the wall and the wet beach area along the Gulf of Texas.  The Porrettos h ...