April 2007, Volume 16, Number 2

IJ Argues for Economic Liberty Before Washington Supreme Court

Do residents of Washington have the right to earn an honest living in the occupation of their choice, or may the government enforce arbitrary and anti-competitive monopolies that allow the government—rather than the individual—to decide who may enter a field and who will be excluded?  The Institute for Justice Washington Chapter (IJ-WA) argued a case…

BB&T Will Not Fund Eminent Domain Abuse

By John Allison Let me share with you some background explaining why BB&T decided not to make loans to developers for projects where eminent domain is used to take property from one private individual for the benefit of another private individual.  BB&T is the 11th largest financial institution in the U.S. with $120 billion in…

Fighting Long Branch’s Outrageous Actions

In early February, IJ filed its opening brief with the New Jersey Appellate Court in one of the most important post-Kelo eminent domain cases in the nation.  The City of Long Branch, N.J., has used its power of eminent domain to try to take the homes of modest-income senior citizens and young families so it…

Silencing Speech: Why IJ is Fighting Campaign Finance “Reform”

“This is a sad day for the freedom of speech.”  So began Justice Scalia’s dissent in the Supreme Court’s now-infamous decision in McConnell v. FEC, in which the Court upheld some of the most restrictive campaign finance laws ever, including a provision that bans some groups from running ads that mention candidates. Since then, many…

Campaign Finance Disclosure: For Thee, But Not for Me

By Dick Carpenter Do you think that campaign finance “reforms” requiring mandatory disclosure of contributors to campaigns are benign?  Or that such disclosure provides more information to voters with little cost? Think again. Each election season, 24 states allow citizens to vote directly on laws.  “Issue campaigns” try to convince citizens to vote for or…

IJ and ALEC Create50-State School Choice Survey

By Dick Komer When legislators from any state in the union want to know how to create a school choice program under their state constitution, they can now find that information in one source:  School Choice and State Constitutions: A Guide to Designing School Choice Programs.  This document, which was created by the Institute for…

Utah: The Latest Battleground for School Choice

On February 12, 2007, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed into law the nation’s first universal school voucher bill.  Called the “Parent Choice in Education Act,” the law creates a voucher program that is open to any child currently attending public school in Utah, along with entering kindergartners and private school students who are eligible…

In It For the Long Haul: Bill Brody’s Seven-Year Struggle Against Eminent Domain

While the popular backlash against the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo continues to curtail eminent domain abuse across the country, many land-hungry developers and tax-hungry bureaucrats refuse to go gently into that good night. There’s no more striking example of that than the ongoing saga of eminent domain abuse in Port Chester, N.Y. In 1996,…

IJ State Chapters Team Up to Fight Campaign Finance Case Before 9th Circuit

By Tim Keller In February, IJ’s Arizona and Washington chapter executive directors joined forces before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that Arizona’s so-called “Clean” Elections Act is unconstitutional because it allows the state to enter the political debate, place its thumb on the scales and tip the balance in favor of taxpayer-financed…

IJ Washington Chapter Helps Defeat Bogus “Blight”

By Michael Bindas In January, the Institute for Justice scored yet another grassroots victory against eminent domain abuse.  IJ galvanized a courageous group of Seattle property owners who defeated a government plan to “blight” their neighborhood and call in the bulldozers. Seattle activist Kwan Fong stands in front of his business property, which the City…

High Court Refuses to Hear Eminent Domain Extortion Case

By Robert McNamara As documented in the Bill Brody feature (on page 10) and in this article, government officials and the favored developer of Port Chester, N.Y., are among the nation’s most ruthless and unprincipled abusers of eminent domain, using their power time and again to go after the most entrepreneurial individuals in the village.…

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