April 2012, Volume 21, Number 2

IJ Sues the IRS

By Dan Alban Should taxpayers or the IRS decide who prepares their taxes? Under new regulations that represent an unprecedented and unlawful power grab, the IRS now seeks to control whom you may hire to prepare your tax returns. The IRS recently imposed a sweeping new licensing scheme that requires tax preparers—who have always had…

IJ Defeats Opponents of Choice Yet Again in Arizona

By Tim Keller Resilience is a hallmark of The IJ Way. Out in Arizona, IJ’s resilience on the school choice battlefield is making a real difference in the lives of special-needs children and their families. For six years, we have fought on behalf of kids with special needs in both the legislative and judicial arenas.…

Institute Challenges Forfeiture Abuse Nationwide

By Scott Bullock IJ’s fight against civil forfeiture—where the government can take private property regardless of whether an owner has been convicted or even arrested for criminal activity—took us to federal court in Boston in February.  There, we represent the owners of the family-owned Motel Caswell in Tewksbury, Mass.  In a case that exemplifies everything…

SpeechNow.org and the Birth of Super PACs

By Steve Simpson March 26 marked the second anniversary of SpeechNow.org v. FEC, a watershed campaign finance case that IJ litigated along with the Center for Competitive Politics.  SpeechNow, which freed groups to do what individuals could always do—raise and spend unlimited amounts of money for political speech—gave birth to the controversial “Super PACs” that…

Minnesota Entrepreneur Challenges Stupid Law That Wastes His Money

Minnesota requires every funeral home to have an embalming room.  The embalming room does not have to be functional; it just has to be there—a frivolous government-imposed requirement that costs entrepreneurs like Verlin as much as $30,000 for each new funeral home they build. But, if the rights enshrined in our federal and state constitutions…

Arrested Redevelopment in California

On February 1, after years of terrorizing property owners with the threat of condemnation for private development, redevelopment agencies were officially dissolved in California.  Home and small business owners across the state are finally free from the very real daily fear that their property would be next on the chopping block. Redevelopment in California has…

IJ Clinic Transforms Law Students Into Champions of Freedom

When IJ Clinic students help real-world entrepreneurs who seek to open or expand their businesses, our students take those dreams personally.  And when the government—for no good reason—interferes with those dreams of a better life, the students not only gain a deeper understanding of the law, but they have a transformative experience that changes their…

9th Circuit Upholds Injunction Protecting Free Speech in Recall Campaigns

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction preventing the government from restricting how much money people may give to recall campaigns in Washington state. Robin Farris led the effort to recall a county official with volunteer help from attorneys Tom Oldfield and Jeff Helsdon. Washington, however, called this help an in-kind campaign…

IJ Obamacare Amicus Brief Extols History of Voluntary Contracts, Defines “Proper” Use of Federal Power

For literally hundreds of years, Anglo-American law has recognized that, to be legally binding, contracts must be based on the voluntary, mutual assent of the parties.  In a “friend of the court” brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the constitutional challenge to the health care reform law, the Institute for Justice asserts that…

A Free Speech Victory for a St. Louis, Mo., Housing Activist

Jim Roos’ mural urging the city of St. Louis to “End Eminent Domain Abuse” drew the city’s ire—and enforcement proceedings.  But his right to display this powerful protest was vindicated on February 21, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review last summer’s 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which struck down the sign…

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