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Liberty & Law

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In This Issue

IJ’s Plan to End Taxation by Citation

IJ’s campaign to end civil forfeiture is one of our most sweeping and successful efforts yet. And it continues to bear fruit in the fight for liberty. That’s because out of that initiative grew our new, pioneering work challenging “taxation by citation.” Civil forfeiture is not the only illegitimate means that state and local governments…

IJ Case Against Chicago Impound Racket Grows

In April, IJ filed a class action lawsuit against the city of Chicago for its outrageous and abusive impound program. Under this program, the city snatches tens of thousands of cars each year and imposes harsh penalties and rapidly accruing towing and storage fees on the cars’ owners, even if they’re not guilty of any…

When Cities Ticket for Revenue, Residents Pay a Price

As you’ll read throughout this issue of Liberty & Law, IJ is fighting—and winning—against cities’ use of fines and fees to raise revenue. Now, thanks to new IJ research, we know that “taxation by citation”—relying on traffic and other code enforcement to generate fines and fees revenue, rather than to protect public health and safety—can…

Philadelphia to Repay $3 Million to Forfeiture Victims

Last year, IJ secured a landmark consent decree that dismantled Philadelphia’s forfeiture machine. After four years of litigation, the city agreed to end “policing for profit,” fundamentally reform its practices to ensure due process, and establish a $3 million fund to compensate forfeiture victims. Before IJ intervened, Philadelphia used civil forfeiture to strip thousands of…

linda camerson standing in front of her home

Planning a Simple Home Renovation? That Will Cost You $60,000 in Permit Fees

Linda Cameron has lived in the same Richland, Washington, home for more than 40 years. It is a modest home, with only one small bedroom and bathroom. Linda and her late husband, Gary, had long wanted to renovate to add some space, but life always got in the way. Sadly, Gary passed away in 2012.…

The Litigator’s Notebook: When Fighting One Injustice Exposes Another

IJ files lawsuits to right government wrongs against not just our clients but others like them. The best way to secure that far-reaching impact is to set strong precedent through court rulings in our favor. And getting those decisions often means finding a way to keep our cases alive and in front of judges in…

Baked Goods WI, Making Bread

IJ Wins for Economic Liberty in State Legislatures

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session,” the lawyer Gideon Tucker once quipped. Alas, Tucker never had a chance to meet IJ’s legislative team, which continued, against long odds, to notch major wins for individual liberty in statehouses across the country in 2019. Braiding freedom continues to spread nationwide. Rhode…

New Law Protects Small-Business Owners from IRS Seizures

For the first time in nearly two decades, Congress has ended a civil forfeiture program. Enacted as part of a larger IRS reform package, the Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act reins in notorious “structuring” laws, which let the IRS seize cash from hundreds of ordinary Americans simply because they made frequent deposits or withdrawals in amounts under…

IJ Logo

So Many Ways to Give the Gift of Freedom

The Institute for Justice exists to come to the aid of individuals across the country who want to do the simple things every American has the right to do—but can’t because the government is standing in their way. And we couldn’t do it without you! As you will read throughout this issue of Liberty &…

Institute for Justice: A Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity for 18 Consecutive Years

In November, for the 18th year running, IJ was awarded Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for our commitment to financial health, accountability, and transparency. Less than 1% of the more than 9,000 charities Charity Navigator evaluates have received at least 18 consecutive 4-star evaluations and, as of this writing, IJ is the highest-ranked charity in…

Miss Virginia Discusses Miss Virginia

“Your son is never going to do anything with his life.” These words—spoken by my son’s public school teacher—convinced me I needed to find William a teacher who recognized his potential. I was not going to let my son be lost to the District of Columbia’s streets. I had seen too many promising children lost…

Debunking Myths About Educational Choice

IJ released our original policy report 12 Myths and Realities About Private Educational Choice Programs in 2017 to dispel and disprove 12 of the most common misconceptions about educational choice. Our goal was to help legislators, our allies, and the public make well-informed decisions about the merits of giving parents more control over their children’s…

IJ Makes Headlines Feature Text

IJ Makes Headlines

These articles and editorials are just a sample of recent favorable local and national pieces IJ has secured. By getting our message out in print, radio, broadcast, and online media, we show the real-world consequences of government restrictions on individual liberty—and make the case for change to judges, legislators and regulators, and the general public.…

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