February 2010, Volume 19, Number 1

Fighting Grassroots Tyranny and Helping Entrepreneurship Flourish

Fighting Grassroots Tyranny and Helping Entrepreneurship Flourish By Chip Mellor In the aftermath of a great forest fire, small green shoots appear as the forest begins to regenerate. Some of those shoots will eventually become towering trees. In the aftermath of a recession, entrepreneurs create new businesses that are the green shoots of economic recovery.…

Virginia Regulations Tie Yoga Teacher-Trainers in Knots

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. They come up with new ideas, take chances, create jobs and improve everyone’s standard of living. In these tough economic times, states should encourage entrepreneurs, not put stumbling blocks in their way. But that is precisely what has happened to some small business owners in Virginia. Julia Kalish,…

Privileges or Immunities Clause Gets U.S. Supreme Court’s Attention

On March 2, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that presents the single best opportunity the Court has ever had to repudiate the woefully misguided Slaughter-House Cases and begin enforcing the 14th Amendment as it was understood and intended by those who ratified it. That case, McDonald v. City…

New York: Building Empires, Destorying Homes Through Eminent Domain

New York does absolutely everything wrong with regard to eminent domain. Its laws are hopelessly stacked against property owners. It is one of only seven states in the entire country that failed to pass any eminent domain reform in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Kelo v. City of New London. For…

IJ Secures Victory in Arizona School Choice Case

Arguing a case in front of a state supreme court is a thrilling moment for a constitutional lawyer. It can be just as thrilling, however, to secure a supreme court victory without ever having to step foot in the courtroom. IJ secured just such a victory on October 27, 2009, when the Arizona Supreme Court…

Constitutional Rights Hanging by a Thread

IJ’s cutting-edge constitutional litigation sometimes places Institute attorneys in strange circumstances. For example, when the IJ Texas Chapter recently launched its constitutional challenge to the state’s oppressive cosmetology regulations, I found myself having my eyebrows “threaded” on the steps of the Travis County courthouse. Eyebrow threading is an ancient grooming technique widely practiced in South…

Dallas Officials Don’t Understand: A Business with No Signs Is a Sign of No Business

The government wouldn’t dream of telling a television station that ads can only run on 15 percent of the screen, or telling a newspaper that ads must be relegated to the bottom third of each page. Yet many cities have no reservations about setting similarly arbitrary, ill-advised and ultimately unconstitutional restrictions on businesses that want…

The End of an Eminent Domain Error: Pfizer Closes in New London

In 2001, Pfizer, Inc., moved to New London, Conn., as part of a project that involved massive corporate welfare and led to the abuse of eminent domain, culminating in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Kelo v. City of New London. This past November, however, Pfizer announced it will close its New London research and…

IJ 3, Red Wing 0 in Property Rights Battle

IJ Minnesota won another victory in its battle to protect Minnesotans from unconstitutional searches of their homes and properties. On December 23, a state district court concluded that the city of Red Wing’s rental housing inspection program violated the U.S. Constitution because it did not “contain reasonable standards controlling the use and dissemination of the…

IJ’s Constitutional Law Fellowships: Harnessing Young Legal Talent in the Fight for Liberty

When law firms recently decided to defer incoming associates—paying them to work at nonprofits for a period of time before they are brought onboard fulltime during this economic downturn—the Institute for Justice’s fight for liberty reaped the reward and got an infusion of new and dedicated talent. Starting this past August, IJ’s inaugural class of…

Know a Freedom-Minded Student?

The Institute for Justice’s 2010 Law Student Conference will be held July 23-25 at George Washington University in downtown Washington, D.C. The annual conference covers the Institute for Justice’s four litigation pillars: free speech, school choice, economic liberty and private property rights. The legal and political philosophy that undergirds IJ’s legal efforts as well as…

Make Your Dollar Go Even Further

Support IJ in an efficient, affordable and easy way—join our monthly donor program! As a result of monthly donations, the Institute for Justice spends fewer resources soliciting and processing donations because they are automatic, predictable and electronic. Our monthly donors provide a reliable source of income, which means we spend less time on fundraising and…

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