November 29, 2016

The power of standing strong for liberty

By John M. Groen Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Defending the rights and liberties of regular Americans — that’s been Pacific Legal Foundation’s stock and trade for more than 40 years.   The challenge facing PLF clients, Teresa Avila-Burns and her husband Ray Burns, is typical of the cases we take and victories we win for their constitutional rights, and those of their fellow Americans.

Today, on #GivingTuesday, their victory over the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), exemplifies the unique partnership we have with our donors, most of whom are just regular, freedom-loving Americans.

Ray and Teresa sought a permit to build a modest home at Lake Tahoe in an established subdivision with streets, and sewer, water and electrical service.  Their empty lot had once featured a home that was destroyed in the 2007 Angora Fire.  But the TRPA had other designs on their property — no home would ever occupy the property.

Representing Ray and Teresa free of charge, we filed suit against TRPA, claiming a taking of their property.  It didn’t take long for TRPA regulators to back down and settle the case to allow Ray and Teresa to proceed with their plans to build.

You can read Teresa and Ray’s account of their case here.  What’s important is not just their victory to vindicate their property rights and to build a home for themselves and their elderly parents, but all of the success PLF has achieved in 2016 on the strength of your charitable donations.

Our Constitution and the precious rights we enjoy are only as safe and secure as we are willing to make them.  So, on #GivingTuesday, as you contemplate where you can make a enduring and significant impact, I hope you consider giving the gift of liberty.

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