Press Releases

  • September 19, 2017    |   Private Property

    With Governor’s Signature, Illinois Now the 25th State to Pass Civil Forfeiture Reform

    Bill Will Protect Innocent Owners, Add New Disclosure Requirements

    Today, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill that bolsters transparency for civil forfeiture and strengthens due process protections for innocent property owners. Under civil forfeiture, law enforcement agencies can seize and then take title to cash, cars and other valuables without charging anyone with—let alone convicting them of—a crime. “Civil forfeiture is one of…

  • September 14, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Rhode Island Hair Braider to Senate: Vote Yes on Braiding Bill During Special Session

    Rhode Island Could Be 24th State to Deregulate Hair Braiding

    Today, a Rhode Island hair braider and the Institute for Justice are asking the Rhode Island Senate to bring a braiding reform bill to a vote during next week’s special session. If enacted, the bill, H.B. 5436, would exempt hair braiders from having to obtain a costly and unnecessary cosmetology license, which costs thousands of…

  • September 13, 2017    |   Private Property

    Civil Forfeiture Lawsuit Challenges U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unchecked Power To Seize and Keep Property Indefinitely

    U.S. Border Protection Agency Has Kept Innocent Man’s Truck for Two Years Without Ever Charging Him With a Crime

    Two years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection used civil forfeiture to seize Gerardo Serrano’s truck at the border crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas. Agents found five low-caliber bullets in the glove box, and now the agency claims the truck is subject to civil forfeiture because those bullets constitute “munitions of war.” The agency still…

  • September 12, 2017    |   Private Property

    Hundreds of members of Congress came together and voted to block an alarming expansion of government power.

  • September 5, 2017    |   Private Property

    The bill is named after two IJ clients who had their entire bank accounts seized by the IRS simply because they frequently deposited or withdrew cash in amounts under $10,000.

  • August 30, 2017

    Bombshell Documents Reveal Secret Plan Between City of Charlestown, Ind. and Private Developer

    Documents from developer detail secret plan to drive down home prices in an effort to reduce the cost of using eminent domain

    Shocking documents released by real estate developer John Neace detail a secret plan between his company, Neace Ventures, and the City of Charlestown to use eminent domain to bulldoze the homes of Pleasant Ridge residents who refuse to sell to the developer. The documents indicate the city and developer planned to drive down home values…

  • August 23, 2017    |   School Choice

    Arlington, Va.—As students return to class this fall, more students than ever will have access to programs that empower parents to choose private educational options, rather than public schools assigned to them based on their zip code. Yet, despite a proven history of satisfying students and parents that now stretches back two and a half…

  • August 23, 2017    |   First Amendment

    North Carolina Makeup Artist Challenges Ban On Makeup Schools

    State Forces Makeup Artists to Spend Hundreds of Hours Teaching Unrelated Topics Before They Can Teach Makeup

    Arlington, Va.—Should makeup artists in North Carolina have to build a full-fledged esthetics school and get a government-mandated license just to teach makeup? No, they should not, according to a major First Amendment lawsuit filed today by a Charlotte-based professional makeup artist and the Institute for Justice. All Jasna Bukvic-Bhayani wants to do is open…

  • August 22, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    New Website Shows Human Cost of Occupational Licensing Laws

    OccupationalLicensing.com hosts occupation and state licensing profiles to guide policy makers and others make informed decisions about licensing laws

    Arlington, Va.—For more than 25 years, the Institute for Justice (IJ) has led the fight nationwide to eliminate burdensome occupational licensing. Now, as part of that ongoing effort, IJ has launched OccupationalLicensing.com to help policy makers, the public, and everyone in between better understand how occupational licensing laws block Americans’ ability to earn an honest…

  • August 14, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Baltimore Food Truck Case Over 300-Foot Ban Headed to Trial

    Trial Will Show Ban Violates Maryland Constitutional Right to Earn a Living

    Baltimore, Maryland—Hungry Baltimoreans will have to wait a little bit longer for food trucks to serve their favorite locations after a City Circuit Court judge ruled the case should go to trial. The city bans mobile vendors from operating within 300 feet of any brick-and-mortar business that primarily sells the same product or service. At the trial—which…

  • August 7, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    In Victory for Cancer Patients & Their Families, HHS Withdraws Controversial Rule That Would Have Banned Compensating Bone Marrow Donors

    Researchers & Entrepreneurs May Now Create Compensated Donor Programs That Could Save Thousands of Cancer Patients’ Lives; Institute for Justice Declares Final Victory 4 Years After Court Victory, But Thousands of Americans May Have Needlessly Lost Their Lives in Those 4 Years Because of the Government-Imposed Delay

    Arlington, Va.—On Tuesday, August 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) withdrew an unpopular rule proposed by the Obama Administration that would have barred compensation for donors of blood stem cells, commonly known as bone marrow. This action now clears the way for researchers and entrepreneurs to create programs to determine whether…

  • July 31, 2017    |   Private Property

    Dirt Cert?

    Case Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court Whether Gov’t Must Pay for Loss of Business In Eminent Domain Case?

    Arlington, Va.—If the government destroys your business through eminent domain, must it pay you for what you lost? That is the question raised by a cert petition filed by the Institute for Justice (IJ) with the U.S. Supreme Court today (July 31, 2017) on behalf of a small Louisiana entrepreneur who is fighting a battle…

  • July 28, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Yesterday, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE), along with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), introduced legislation that, if enacted, will create a framework for states across the country to reform burdensome and unnecessary occupational licensing laws. The bill, titled the Restoring Board Immunity Act, responds to the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision…

  • July 20, 2017    |   Private Property

    July 20, 2017 Chairman Bob Goodlatte Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Chairman Chuck Grassley Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 RE: Call to Pass Civil Forfeiture Reform Quickly and Independently Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Grassley: On behalf of the undersigned organizations dedicated to…

  • July 19, 2017    |   Private Property

    St. Paul, Minn.—In a blow to the constitutional rights of Minnesotan renters, the state Supreme Court ruled today that cities do not need to provide evidence of a suspected housing code violation in order to obtain an administrative search warrant to inspect renters’ homes without their permission. Today’s decision denies Minnesota’s renters—and the landlords who…

  • July 19, 2017    |   Private Property

    Civil Forfeiture Is Inherently Abusive

    Statement Responding to DOJ’s Announced Policy Change Increasing Use of Civil Forfeiture

    Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would repeal reforms intended to curb federal law enforcement agencies’ use of civil forfeiture. In response, Institute for Justice Senior Attorney and Director of its Nationwide Initiative to End Forfeiture Darpana Sheth issued the following statement: Civil forfeiture is inherently abusive. No one should…

  • July 18, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    AirBnB Property Manager Files Constitutional Challenge To Pa. Real Estate Licensing Regime

    Pennsylvania’s protectionist law requires a real estate license, a brick-and-mortar office, passing two exams and working for a broker for three years, just to help manage AirBnB rentals

    Sally Ladd has always had a knack for technology. So as she started to near retirement a few years ago, she saw an opportunity to make some extra money by starting her own business helping fellow Pocono Mountain property owners list and manage their vacation rentals on websites like AirBnB and others. After three years…

  • July 17, 2017    |   Private Property

    Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department “plan[s] to develop policies to increase forfeitures.” Sessions also declared that “adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners,” which suggests plans to undo a widely praised ban on “adoptive” seizures, implemented by then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in January 2015. Following…

  • July 14, 2017    |   Private Property

    To Restrain Civil Forfeiture by the IRS, House Advances Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act

    Named for IJ clients, the act is a welcome first step for forfeiture reform

    “The Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act is a much needed reform of federal forfeiture laws that will protect small-business owners across the country from IRS abuses.”

  • July 12, 2017    |   Private Property

    Fighting On: Hinga’s Automotive Will Appeal Dismissal of Property Rights Lawsuit

    Facing Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Potential Fines, Hinga Mbogo Also Announces Plans to Erect a Mural Protesting City’s Use of Retroactive Zoning

    Dallas—On Friday, in a blow to the property rights of all Texans, a Dallas judge dismissed Hinga’s Automotive’s countersuit challenging the city’s use of retroactive zoning to force the car repair shop off the property it occupied for 30 years. Following the decision, Hinga Mbogo, who partnered with the Institute for Justice to fight the…


Media Team

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