Press Releases

  • March 13, 2018    |   Private Property

    Yesterday, the Idaho Senate unanimously approved a bill to tighten the state’s civil forfeiture laws. Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement agencies to permanently confiscate and keep property without charging anyone with—let alone convicting them of—a crime. Even worse, Idaho received failing grades from the Institute for Justice for its utter lack of forfeiture transparency and…

  • March 8, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Charlotte, N.C.—In a move that will empower makeup artists statewide, the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners has agreed to allow stand-alone makeup schools to operate without an unnecessary, government-issued license. The shift, which closes a six-month-old federal lawsuit, means Charlotte makeup artist Jasna Bukvic-Bhayani is finally free to open the school of her dreams.…

  • March 7, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Yesterday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved HB 1685, a bill that would overhaul the state’s burdensome and arbitrary licenses.  Occupational licensing is now one of the biggest barriers to finding work, with almost 1 in 5 workers in New Hampshire either licensed or certified. According to a report by the Institute for Justice,…

  • February 27, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Final Victory for Wisconsin Home Bakers

    Judge Denies State’s Request to Limit Home Baking Sales to $5,000 Per Year

    Madison— Home bakers in the Badger State have reason to celebrate after a Lafayette Circuit Court judge denied Wisconsin’s request to prohibit bakers from selling more than $5,000 annually—an average of only $96 per week. Today’s ruling brings Wisconsin in line with most states, which have no sales cap for home bakers. This latest victory…

  • February 27, 2018    |   First Amendment

    Institute for Justice Defends Small-Business Owners’ Speech

    Supreme Court Brief Explains Compelled Disclaimer Confusion

    Washington, D.C.—Today, the Institute for Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect small-business owners from being forced to mislead their customers. This request was made in an amicus brief filed by the Institute in support of the petition for writ of certiorari in the case of CTIA–The Wireless Association v. City of Berkeley, California.…

  • February 23, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Arlington, Va.—Today, a federal district court judge upheld New Jersey’s protectionist law banning religious cemeteries from selling headstones. The Archdiocese of Newark, which had developed an innovative program to provide and maintain parishioners’ headstones in perpetuity, teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) in 2015 to file a constitutional challenge to the law. The…

  • February 20, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Chicago Food Truck Asks Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Challenge Against City’s Food Truck Laws

    Illinoisans’ Rights to Privacy and a Good Lunch Hang in the Balance  

    Chicago—Can the government throttle competition just to line the pockets of established, well-connected businesses? That is the subject of an Illinois Supreme Court petition filed late Friday by the Institute for Justice (IJ) on behalf of Laura Pekarik, owner of the Chicago-based Cupcakes for Courage food truck. Laura and IJ first teamed up in 2012…

  • February 14, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Texas Craft Breweries Take Alcohol Distribution Law to State Supreme Court

    Petition Asks Court if Texas Constitution Protects Economic Liberty of All Texans or Just a Few

    Austin, TX.—Does the Texas Constitution protect the right of all Texans to earn an honest living free from unreasonable government interference or just some? That is the subject of a Texas Supreme Court petition filed late yesterday by the Institute for Justice (IJ) on behalf of three Texas craft breweries. The breweries and IJ first…

  • February 14, 2018    |   Private Property

    Class Action Lawsuit Challenges California Cities’ For-Profit Prosecution Scheme

    Indio, Ca. obtained an arrest warrant and forced a property owner to pay nearly $6,000 in attorneys fees to a private law firm just to resolve a $225 ticket for keeping backyard chickens

    When Ramona Morales agreed to pay a $225 fine for failing to force her tenants to remove a few backyard chickens, she had no way of knowing that what started out as an innocent misunderstanding would ultimately cost her nearly $6,000. Ramona was one of an untold number of California homeowners who have been caught…

  • February 13, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    First-Round Victory: Judge Clears Way For Lawsuit Against Iowa’s Certificate-of-Need Laws

    Rejects Economic Protectionism as a Legitimate State Interest

    Arlington, Va.—Late yesterday, a federal court judge denied the Iowa Department of Health’s motion to dismiss a constitutional challenge to a law that makes it a crime for doctors to open new outpatient surgery centers without first obtaining special permission—called a “certificate of need”—from the government. In a first-round victory for a group of medical…

  • February 9, 2018    |   Private Property

    Florida Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge on Front-Yard Vegetable Garden Ban

    Institute for Justice Will Continue to Fight for Property Rights

    Miami—Fans of homegrown vegetables will have to wait a little bit longer to grow their gardens after the Florida Supreme Court this morning refused to hear the appeal of homeowners Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll in their challenge to the Village of Miami Shores’ ban on front-yard vegetable gardens. “The Florida Supreme Court’s refusal to…

  • February 8, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Miss. Cab Drivers to State Supreme Court: We Deserve our Day in Court

    IJ Takes Over Taxi Case While Court Considers Arbitrary 10-day Limit to Challenge Illegal Laws

    For generations, driving a cab has been an easy way to earn a living doing something you enjoy: driving. But with the rise of Uber, Lyft, and other transportation options, driving a cab has gotten harder, which is why is makes absolutely no sense for Jackson, Mississippi to impose arbitrary limits on the number of…

  • February 1, 2018    |   Private Property

    Case Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court Asks If All 50 States Must Comply with U.S. Constitution’s Excessive Fines Clause

    Indiana Supreme Court Ruled It May Impose Excessive Fines in Forfeiture Cases Until the U.S. Supreme Court Says It Can't

    The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits excessive fines by the federal government. But does the same prohibition apply when state and local authorities impose the fine? That is the question raised by a petition filed in the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday (January 31, 2018) by the Institute for Justice on behalf of Tyson…

  • January 31, 2018    |   Private Property

    On Tuesday, the Indiana Senate approved SB 99, which would distribute at least 90 percent of civil forfeiture revenue to contingency-fee lawyers, police, and prosecutors. In Indiana, not only can the government use civil forfeiture to confiscate private property without filing criminal charges, law enforcement agencies have routinely funneled millions in forfeiture funds to pad…

  • January 29, 2018    |   First Amendment

    Victory for Free Speech in Colorado

    Colorado Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms Political Speakers’ Right to Use Pro Bono Legal Services

    Arlington, Va.—In a ruling that will benefit hundreds of citizens and political groups throughout the state of Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that pro bono and reduced cost legal services to political organizations cannot be regulated as political “contributions” under Colorado’s campaign finance laws. The ruling in Coloradans for a Better Future…

  • January 26, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Court Refuses to Hear Case about Online Vision Test & Rx Service

    Judge rules that Chicago-based startup lacks standing to challenge law that put it out of business

    Columbia, South Carolina– Judge DeAndrea Benjamin of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Columbia, South Carolina, today dismissed a pathbreaking lawsuit brought by an online telehealth company, ruling that the company lacks legal standing to challenge the law that put it out of business in South Carolina. The case, Opternative v. South Carolina Board of Medical…

  • January 26, 2018    |   Educational Choice

    Colorado Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge To Douglas County School Choice Program

    Facing Likelihood of Legal Victory for Educational Choice Local School Board & Anti-Choice Allies End Litigation before Precedent Could Be Set Leaving Colorado’s Legal Landscape Dealing with Educational Choice Unchanged

    Arlington, Va.— Yesterday afternoon (January 25, 2018), the Colorado Supreme Court dismissed a case challenging Douglas County, Colorado’s Choice Scholarship Program and vacated earlier decisions in the case, meaning that the legal landscape for educational choice in Colorado is right back where it was when litigation began in this case in 2011. According to Michael…

  • January 24, 2018    |   Private Property

    New Bill in Alabama Would End Civil Forfeiture Once and For All

    Legislation Would Also Counter Federal Forfeiture Program Revived by Attorney General Jeff Sessions

    Late Tuesday, two Alabama lawmakers filed legislation that would completely eliminate the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which let the government take and keep property without ever filing criminal charges, and replace it with criminal forfeiture. Currently, 14 states only allow forfeiture after a criminal conviction in most or all forfeiture cases. Among those states, just…

  • January 15, 2018    |   Economic Liberty

    Late Friday, the Florida House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of HB 15, a bill that would ease or outright eliminate around a dozen occupational licenses. A recent study by the Institute for Justice, License to Work, found that Florida has the “fifth most burdensome licensing laws.” On average, a license for low- or…

  • December 20, 2017    |   Economic Liberty

    Victory for Baltimore Food Trucks

    Judge Rules 300-Foot Ban is Too Vague for City to Enforce

    Baltimore—Baltimore’s food trucks and their customers have reason to celebrate. Late today, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled the city’s ban on mobile vendors operating within 300 feet of any brick-and-mortar business that sells primarily the same product or service is too vague for the city to enforce. But the judge’s ruling failed to answer an important…


Media Team

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