For more than a decade, IJ-WA has been a dynamic presence in the state of Washington. But IJ-WA has not only vindicated the rights of Washingtonians—it has also continuously advocated for the economic liberty, school choice, free speech and property rights of individuals across the nation.
For instance, IJ-WA has scored nationally significant victories for political speech and access to the courts. It beat back an effort by Washington state to classify the provision of free legal services provided to a campaign in a federal civil rights case as a political contribution that could be regulated and restricted by the government. IJ-WA also fought efforts by the government to classify on-air radio commentary as a political contribution, a case in which the Washington Supreme Court sided with IJ-WA and its clients in a 9-0 decision.
IJ-WA has also fought for the rights of entrepreneurs. When a city tried to stop Blazing Bagels, a bagel shop, from using portable signs to direct customers to its business, IJ-WA took the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and won. This ruling not only ensured that Blazing Bagels could reach its customers, but it also allowed other entrepreneurs throughout the region to communicate with customers.
IJ-WA has waged a similarly successful fight on behalf of natural hair braiders in the Evergreen State. In response to IJ-WA’s suit on behalf of hair braider Salamata Sylla, the Washington Department of Licensing adopted a rule change in 2015 that allows braiders to operate freely without obtaining a costly and irrelevant cosmetology license.
IJ-WA has also fought for educational freedom. On behalf of the DeBoom, Apodaca and Hamilton families, it successfully challenged Washington’s discriminatory denial of special education services to children in religious schools. As a result, Washington school districts are now free to provide services to special needs children in public and private schools and in religious and nonreligious schools.
Litigation is not the only means by which IJ-WA advances liberty in the state and across the nation. IJ-WA drafts policy, testifies to legislatures and uses media and outreach to spread the message of liberty.
IJ-WA is continuing to push for new opportunities to promote freedom and individual opportunity across the Evergreen State and at the national level.
Directions to IJ-washington Office
The Institute for Justice Washington office is located in Seattle:
Institute for Justice
600 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Law Student Clerkships
To apply for semester clerkships in our Washington office, please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample via email to [email protected]. If you are interested in applying for a summer clerkship please visit our Students page.
Guest Speaker Information
If you would like to invite an Institute for Justice attorney to a debate or to speak to your group. Please email [email protected]. To see if there are any events near you, go to our Speakers & Events page.