February 2015, Volume 24, Issue 1

Victories Build Momentum to End Civil Forfeiture

Victories Build Momentum to End Civil Forfeiture

Summing up 2014 in the last issue of Liberty & Law, Chip Mellor wrote that “IJ is in the right place at the right time with the right strategy.” Those words are nowhere better demonstrated than in our work challenging civil forfeiture, which has charged into 2015 with a rapid-fire succession of victories. Victory in…

Victory for Political Speech

In December, following a three-year battle in the trial court, a federal district court struck down Arizona’s definition of political committee, thereby allowing Arizonans—and IJ client Dina Galassini in particular—to speak about core political issues without the worry of the heavy hand of government censoring such speech. In almost every state, a political committee is,…

IJ’s School Choice Team Defends Programs in Three State Supreme Courts

In the span of three months, IJ will have defended four very different school choice programs in front of three state supreme courts: Alabama, Colorado and North Carolina.  On December 3 of last year, IJ Senior Attorney Bert Gall defended Alabama’s two tax-credit programs. Just one week later, IJ Senior Attorney Michael Bindas was (quite…

Censorship in the Garden of Good and Evil

When Michelle Freenor heard about IJ’s victory overturning Washington, D.C.’s tour guide licensing scheme, she picked up the phone and called IJ’s offices. Months later, she is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit—and the government has already started backing down. Michelle is a tour guide in Savannah, Ga., where she is required to get a…

Remembering IJ Client Trisha Eck

Every IJ attorney has had a moment when they have said, “We have to take this case.” For my colleague Larry Salzman and me, one such moment came when we met Trisha Eck and her husband Tom. Readers met Trisha last April when she teamed up with IJ to challenge Georgia’s ban on non-dentist teeth…

Crafting a Case to Protect Property Rights in Texas

Benjamin Franklin is famously attributed as saying, “beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.” And the growing popularity of craft beer around the U.S. only further proves his point. Consumers favor craft beer for its rich flavor, authentic ingredients and the care with which individual brewers create new and innovative…

Nation’s Largest Land Grab Defeated

The Pleasant Ridge neighborhood of Charlestown, Ind., is a family community. Neighbors look out for one another and kids grow up playing in each other’s yards. But this blue-collar enclave was just at the center of the nation’s largest and most contentious eminent domain fight, and its residents proved that you can take on the…

U.S. Army Honors IJ’s First Client

Pamela Ferrell and her husband Taalib-Din Uqdah were IJ’s first clients. On November 1, 1991, IJ filed a lawsuit on their behalf challenging the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s cosmetology licensing scheme. As a result of the lawsuit, the District of Columbia government partly deregulated its cosmetology industry, allowing hair braiders to practice their craft. Without…

IJ Challenges Florida’s Skim Milk Labeling Ban

When is skim milk not skim milk? If you live in Florida, the answer can be confusing. Mary Lou Wesselhoeft and her husband, Paul, own Ocheesee Creamery, a small dairy creamery on their farm in the Florida Panhandle. The creamery sells cream skimmed from all-natural, pasteurized whole milk at its store and to local coffee…

You Can Fight City Hall

By James Dupree Last June, Liberty & Law readers were first introduced to the fight to save Dupree Studios, my art studio, from being seized through eminent domain by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA). The city wanted to take my 8,600-square-foot studio and replace it with a grocery store and parking lot. But Dupree Studios…

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