Belts, suspenders, and overalls–the pointless and harmful growth of wrongful discharge law

September 17, 2015 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

The Supreme Court of Washington is on a crusade to protect workers from evil bosses even when it’s unnecessary and hurts everyone. … ...


Everybody wins with at-will employment

April 24, 2015 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

In the U.S.A. of old, your boss could fire you if he didn’t like the color of your socks, the smell of your lunch, or the pitch of your sneeze. And you could get up and walk whenever it suited you. While the latter remains true, the traditional rule that an employer can discharge staff at will … ...


A farce, a tragedy, or both

January 13, 2015 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

James Madison once wrote, “a popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce, or a Tragedy, or, perhaps, both.” Despite being bad at agreeing on about anything nowadays, most everyone likes the idea of transparent government. Except for the government. … ...


The erosion of traditional fair play

December 01, 2014 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Charlie Brown always fell for Lucy’s trick of whipping the football away just as he approached for a kick. One Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown hesitated, but Lucy insisted that football was a Thanksgiving tradition. As Charlie Brown lay on his back after being duped again, Lucy smiled down and said, “Isn’t it peculiar, Charlie Bro ...


Washington courts lose a constitutional scholar

March 18, 2014 | By BRIAN HODGES

Yesterday, Justice James M. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court announced his early retirement from the bench. This is sad news for Washington. Justice Johnson is a well-respected historian of the state constitution and a strong advocate for the principles embodied therein. During his years on the bench, he showed a marked concern for pr ...


Supreme Court should allow property owners to seek damages for unlawful zoning decisions

May 09, 2013 | By BRIAN HODGES

PLF attorneys filed a petition for review with the Washington Supreme Court this week in a case called Manna Funding, LLC v. Kittitas County.  This is an important property rights case in which PLF seeks reversal of a lower court decision that stripped property owners of vital safeguards in the land use permitting process. The … ...


PLF petitions Washington Supreme Court to uphold property owners' right to sue government for damages

June 25, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

About a month ago, we brought you the story of Wendy Birnbaum, a Pierce County, Washington, property owner who got stuck in the permitting process when she applied to open a campground and RV park on her property in the foothills of Mt. Rainier.  This week, we submitted a petition for review to the Supreme … ...


20 years of Pacific Northwest victories : fighting for a coherent regulatory takings test

March 20, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

At the time PLF opened its office in the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s courts had adopted an extremely pro-regulation and anti-property rights stance toward regulatory takings law.  This was primarily due to the fact that the courts were operating under the notion that any regulation of private property that is designed to protect people f ...


Who should decide whether a Washington property owner has suffered a taking?

January 11, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

In Laurel Park Community, LLC v. City of Tumwater, several manufactured home park owners challenge a city ordinance that essentially prohibits them from using their property for anything but a manufactured home park.  PLF filed an amicus brief supporting the park owners last fall, which we told you about at the time. Now the case … ...