Weekly litigation report — January 7, 2016
Supreme Court watch
We are waiting for word from the Supreme Court on three of our cases where we are directly representing the petitioners. The Court held its conference on Bennie v. Munn, (retaliation for speaking out for Tea Party) Foster v. Vilsack, (phony wetlands designation) and the Waters of the United States jurisdictional challenge. We could hear as soon as Monday whether the Court will take these cases.
Economic liberty argument next week
We will be arguing our Twist Architecture case before the Oregon Supreme Court next Tuesday. This is the case where we are arguing people ought to be allowed to make non-technical renderings of proposed buildings without first obtaining an architect’s license. For more, see this blog page.
Union-backed First Amendment violation
We filed this amicus brief in Jarvis v. Cuomo urging the Supreme Court to take up the cause of family daycare providers in New York who have been involuntarily conscripted into a union. In a nutshell, New York has decided that these privately employed providers are “public employees” so that they can be forced into a union, pay union dues, and be prevented from negotiating where their employers. That seriously infringes upon these employees and their independence, not to mention the First Amendment that protects people from forced speech and association. Our brief on behalf of ourselves, the Goldwater Institute, Fairness Center, Pioneer Institute, and Empire Center urge the Court to restore freedom to these workers. As our brief concludes, “It is far past time for public-employee unions to join the great American tradition of voluntary associations, where participants willingly contribute to common goals.” For more, see our blog post here.
American Indian artist can say who she is while lawsuit continues
We reached an agreement with Oklahoma to stay it’s enforcement of that state’s First-Amendment bashing law that prohibits members of state-recognized Indian tribes from truthfully saying that their art is made by American Indian artists. The state will allow our client to make truthful statements about her art while her case, Fontenot v. Oklahoma, is proceeds in court. For more, read our blog here.
What to read next
One of the most fundamental rights of American citizens is the right to seek redress from illegal government action in a court of law. But the federal government has an arsenal of weapons it wields to deny or curtail this right. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the government’s attempts to stifle landowner suits challenging federal agency action under the Clean Water Act.