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Liberty & Law

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In This Issue

FBI Vaults Over the Constitution to Illegally Search and Seize Safe Deposit Boxes

Everyone has the right to contract for a safe, private place to store their property. That’s what Jeni Pearsons and Michael Storc wanted for their retirement nest egg. But now Jeni, Michael, and hundreds of other innocent people must fight to keep what’s theirs after the federal government broke into their safe deposit boxes, rifled through…

CERT GRANTED: IJ Goes Back to the U.S. Supreme Court to Defend Educational Choice

On July 2, IJ—and parents who desperately want greater educational opportunity for their children—received some very welcome news from the U.S. Supreme Court: The Court announced that it would take up IJ’s challenge to Maine’s exclusion of religious options from the state’s educational choice program. This marks IJ’s 10th trip to the high court—and a…

IJ Defends Iowa Renters’ Fourth Amendment Rights

Imagine two identical homes on any street in the United States. The only difference is that House A is not a rental property, and House B is. A government inspector walks up to House A, knocks on the door, and demands entry to conduct a routine inspection for code violations. The owner of House A…

Long Island Town Tries Every Tool in the Box to Stop Family-Owned Hardware Store

Success in business should depend on a lot of things: The quality of your product. Your customer service. Your marketing savvy. What shouldn’t it depend on? How much local bureaucrats like you. Unfortunately, all too often, city and county officials act as though that is the only thing that matters. So it is with the…

New Montana Law Prescribes More Competition in Health Care

Another protectionist law bites the dust. Forty-four states and D.C. allow doctors to dispense the medications they prescribe. Until recently, Montana was an outlier. The state effectively banned doctors from filling prescriptions for patients unless they practiced more than 10 miles from the nearest pharmacy. This ban was never about protecting patients. Doctor dispensing is…

A License to Discuss Math Is a Formula for Censorship

Wayne Nutt is an engineer. For four decades, he practiced engineering, mostly in North Carolina. Like many engineers, he designed and built all manner of useful things in his career, and, like many engineers, he did so without needing a government license. Because Wayne worked for big manufacturers instead of building public works, he was…

The Litigator’s Notebook: How IJ Uses Experts to Prove the Case

IJ litigation isn’t only about abstract principles of constitutional law, although legal theory is an indispensable part of what we do. We must also provide real-world evidence that convinces courts that we should win. Of course, we present testimony from our own clients, and we cross-examine representatives of the government body that violated their rights.…

Double the Freedom, Double the Fun: For Second Straight Year, Florida Sets the Standard In Economic Liberty Reforms

In 2020, Florida enacted IJ’s historic overhaul of the Sunshine State’s occupational licensing barriers. It turns out that the Florida Legislature was just getting warmed up—and IJ was happy to help every step of the way. This spring, Florida lawmakers passed 10 different economic liberty bills actively supported by the Institute for Justice. Sometimes, we…

South Carolina Court of Appeals Puts Economic Liberty in View for Eyeglass Startup

When you sue the government for violating your rights, one of its favorite moves is to argue that the court has no power to decide your case. These arguments can take many forms, but one that shows up in many IJ cases is the argument that our client is not really injured, so there is…

IJ Delivers Food Freedom Nationwide

IJ launched our National Food Freedom Initiative in 2013 to make it possible for more people to buy and sell the foods of their choice. We celebrated a new milestone this year, when IJ’s advocacy prompted nine states to expand people’s ability to sell homemade or “cottage” foods. Cottage food laws allow people to make…

Other Legislative Highlights

As this issue of Liberty & Law makes clear, IJ ran the tables in state legislatures this year, securing important and sweeping reforms on issues ranging from qualified immunity to food freedom to occupational licensing. Here are a few other highlights from the 2020–2021 legislative session that advanced economic liberty: In Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky,…

Kentucky Families Fight for Educational Freedom

With public schools around the country having closed their doors over the past year and a half, support for educational choice is surging. Parents frustrated with the status quo are increasingly considering alternatives to their neighborhood public schools. Thanks to this enthusiasm, 18 states have enacted or expanded educational choice programs this year. One of…

Detroit Deploys Dirty Tricks to Keep Seized Property

In February 2020, IJ sued Wayne County, home to Detroit, to end its decadeslong pattern of taking cars and holding them ransom for $1,000 or more. Although IJ filed this lawsuit in federal court, behind the scenes, the county has forced IJ to battle in state court to protect our clients’ rights.   Liberty &…

New Mexico Leads the Way on Government Accountability

IJ’s work to increase government accountability has seen progress on the legislative front over the past year. One highlight has been in New Mexico, where lawmakers enacted landmark legislation ending qualified immunity and allowing individuals in that state to hold state government agencies and officials accountable in state court when their constitutional rights have been…

IJ Makes Headlines Feature Text

IJ Makes Headlines

These articles and editorials are just a sample of favorable local and national pieces IJ secured in the weeks prior to the release of the August issue of Liberty & Law. 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…

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