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Press Releases

  • January 15, 2021    |   First Amendment

    Charlottesville, Va.—Today, Judge Claude Worrell of the 16th Judicial Circuit of Virginia declared Charlottesville’s business license tax, as selectively applied to freelance authors, unconstitutional. For the past few years, Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County assessed freelance authors a business license tax, even if they did not run a business or a storefront of any kind. The city and county business codes cover dozens of occupations but don’t mention writers, who therefore had no notice…

  • January 15, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Massachusetts became the to eliminate licensing for natural hair braiders, thanks to a bonding bill signed late Thursday by Gov. Charlie Baker. With a rich heritage spanning millennia, natural hair braiding is a beauty practice common in many African American and African immigrant communities. Unlike cosmetologists, braiders do not cut hair or use any harsh…

  • January 14, 2021    |   Private Property

    EVENT: Indiana Supreme Court Hears Timbs Excessive Fines Argument, for Third Time, After U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns Earlier Ruling & Trial Court Awards Timbs His Vehicle DATE/TIME: Thursday, January 21, 2021 / 10 a.m. Eastern PLACE: Indiana Supreme Court Live Streamed on the Court’s website: https://mycourts.in.gov/arguments/default.aspx?court=sup PARTICIPANT: Sam Gedge, Attorney, Institute for Justice CONTACT:…

  • January 14, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    DC Day Care Providers Announce Plans to Appeal College Degree Requirement to DC Circuit Court

    Degree requirement certain to drive up costs for child care in the District, which is already more expensive than all 50 states

    Late Wednesday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit filed by two day care providers and a D.C. parent alongside the Institute for Justice (IJ) challenging a requirement by Washington, D.C. regulators in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) that day care providers obtain a college…

  • January 12, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill that will make it much easier for people with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field. Previously, the District had below-average protections for ex-offenders seeking licenses to work, receiving a C- in a recent report by the Institute for Justice, Barred from Working. But thanks…

  • January 11, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation Saturday (HB 263) that will make it much easier for Ohioans with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field. Previously, the Buckeye State had scant protections for ex-offenders seeking licenses to work, receiving a D- in a recent report by the Institute for Justice, Barred from Working. Now…

  • January 11, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Arlington, Virginia—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in the decade-long lawsuit brought by brothers/entrepreneurs Jim and Cliff Courtney, who sought to provide boat service on Lake Chelan in Washington state.  The denial lets stand a 2020 decision of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing the Courtneys’ lawsuit. Since 1997, the Courtneys have…

  • January 5, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills Monday that will make it much easier for people with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field. By imposing significant costs in terms of time and money, licensing laws often create substantial hurdles to worker mobility and prisoner reentry. For instance, the average license…

  • December 24, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Austin, Texas—Yesterday, the Travis County District Court upheld Texas’s ban on doctor dispensing. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia allow doctors to dispense medicine to patients in their offices and to recover their costs. But in Texas, doctors could lose their licenses for doing so. The court’s ruling leaves that ban in place. The…

  • December 23, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a petition that will ease regulatory burdens on lawyers. Every three years, attorneys in Minnesota need to finish 45 credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE) courses to maintain their licenses. Even though on-demand CLEs are more convenient, relevant, affordable and numerous than in-person CLEs and live-webcast CLEs,…

  • December 21, 2020

    Final Victory for Pleasant Ridge Residents

    After a years-long battle, Charlestown agrees to never use its property maintenance code as a tool to force people out of their homes

    CHARLESTOWN, Ind.—Christmas came early this year for residents of the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood in Charlestown, Indiana, after Judge Jason Mount signed an order barring the city from using its property maintenance code to force people out of their homes. The order formalizes a settlement agreement between the city and neighborhood and—after nearly four years—brings the…

  • December 21, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Courtney brothers have tried for 23 years to transport passengers to their family’s businesses, only to be blocked by government every step of the way. Infamous Slaughter-House Cases stripped Americans of most economic liberties, but explicitly protected right to use waters. If precedent means anything, the Courtney brothers should win. Arlington, Virginia—Imagine Jim and Cliff…

  • December 18, 2020    |   Private Property

    Federal Court Finds Doraville’s Addiction to Fines & Fees Constitutional

    Institute for Justice and Georgia residents targeted with abusive fines will appeal ruling

    ATLANTA, Ga.—Yesterday a federal judge ruled against four Georgia residents who had sued the city of Doraville over its practice of heavily relying on fines and fees to balance its budget. The city fined them—two homeowners and two drivers—over extremely minor violations, including a cracked driveway and improperly stacked wood, as part of its policy…

  • December 17, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    The Council of the District of Columbia unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that will make it much easier for people with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field. Previously, the District had below-average protections for ex-offenders seeking licenses to work, receiving a C- in a recent report by the Institute for Justice, Barred…

  • December 17, 2020    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Innovative Mississippi Analytics Firm Free to Expand Its Business

    In Response to a First Amendment Lawsuit, Licensing Board Agrees That the Small Business’s Services Are Legal

    Arlington, Va.— Today, the real estate analytics firm Vizaline is free to legally operate in Mississippi following the approval of a consent agreement by a Mississippi state court. Vizaline is a technology start-up located in Mississippi that uses public data to draw lines on satellite photos showing property boundaries. This information is used by banks…

  • December 15, 2020    |   Private Property

    New Report Finds Civil Forfeiture Rakes in Billions Each Year, Does Not Fight Crime

    Poor Forfeiture Laws Allowed State and Federal Governments to Forfeit More Than $68.8 Billion Over Past 20 Years

    ARLINGTON, Va.—Nationwide, civil forfeiture laws put innocent property owners at risk and encourage law enforcement to police for profit, with billions of dollars forfeited each year. So finds the latest edition of “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” released today by the Institute for Justice (IJ).   This third edition of “Policing for Profit” presents the largest ever collection of state and federal forfeiture data—17 million data points covering 45 states, the District of…

  • December 14, 2020    |   Private Property

    Institute for Justice Asks Supreme Court to Reject Dangerous “Misdemeanor Pursuit” Doctrine and Secure Our Constitutional Rights

    Current ruling violates the Fourth Amendment by allowing police to barge into homes without a warrant to pursue anyone suspected of a misdemeanor.

    Arlington, Virginia—In America, our homes are supposed to be our castles. But that security is in doubt. In California v. Lange, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if the Fourth Amendment allows police to enter people’s homes without a warrant whenever an officer is pursuing anyone they think has committed any jailable misdemeanor. The Institute…

  • December 10, 2020    |   Immunity and Accountability

    Arlington, Va.—In a unanimous opinion issued today by the U.S. Supreme Court, and authored by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court ruled in Tanzin v. Tanvir that individuals may seek damages as a remedy when federal officers violate their rights. The opinion closely tracks an amicus brief submitted by the Institute for Justice. The case…

  • December 10, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Victory for Food Freedom In North Dakota: Homemade Food Producers Restore Food Freedom to North Dakota

    North Dakota returns to having one of the strongest food freedom laws in the country

    Today, North Dakota Judge Cynthia M. Feland ruled that the North Dakota Department of Health broke the law when it passed regulations in December 2019 crippling the Cottage Food Act starting in January 2020. The Cottage Food Act was passed by the North Dakota Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum in 2017…

  • December 9, 2020    |   First Amendment

    Mental Health Professional Sues D.C. for the Right to Teleconference with Clients

    First Amendment lawsuit seeks to protect the right to practice talk therapy across state lines

    WASHINGTON—As the COVID-19 pandemic fell on the greater Washington, D.C., area, professional counselor Elizabeth Brokamp quickly shifted her practice online. Yet she ran into a problem: When potential clients living in the District of Columbia contacted her to begin counseling, she was forced to turn them away because she is licensed in Virginia, but not…


Media Team

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