Press Releases

  • July 1, 2020    |   Educational Choice

    Maine’s High School Tuitioning Program is Clearly Unconstitutional Under New Supreme Court Precedent

    Institute for Justice and First Liberty Institute ask federal appeals court to rule against state program that excludes religious schools

    Arlington, Va.— The Institute for Justice (IJ) and First Liberty Institute (FLI) filed a notice of supplemental authority with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to rule in favor of parents who challenged Maine’s high school tuitioning program. The three families, who filed suit nearly two years ago, would like to choose…

  • June 30, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Governor Signs Bill Making It Easier for Floridians to Work

    Institute for Justice applauds enactment of broad occupational licensing reform law

    Tallahassee, Fla.— Thousands of Floridians will find it easier to work now with Gov. Ron DeSantis signing HB 1193, the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act. The historic law repeals more occupational licensing laws than any licensing reform ever passed by any other state. The Institute for Justice (IJ), which advocates for licensing reform nationwide, applauds…

  • June 30, 2020    |   Educational Choice

    Landmark Victory for Parents In U.S. Supreme Court School Choice Case

    Montana families represented by the Institute for Justice secure the right to choose the schools that best suit their children’s educational needs

    Arlington, Virginia—In a landmark 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a state court may not strike down a school choice program simply because it permits families to choose religious schooling. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Court held that barring religious options in school choice programs violates the First Amendment’s…

  • June 30, 2020    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Lawsuit Challenges Ca. Funeral Directors’ Monopoly on End-of-Life Care

    End-of-Life Doulas Sue for First Amendment Right to Offer Advice and Support to Those in Their Last Stage of Life

    For many, talking about dying is—unfortunately—a taboo subject. So, as someone nears the end of their life, getting answers and finding support can be difficult. That’s what end-of-life doulas do—they help families plan and care for someone transitioning from life to death. From helping families plan for the day that someone passes away, to providing…

  • June 25, 2020    |   Immunity and Accountability

    “For too long, qualified immunity has denied victims a remedy for violations of their constitutional rights. It’s encouraging to see Congress is finally taking steps to fix this pernicious mistake by the Supreme Court.”

  • June 25, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Barred from Working: People with Criminal Records Are Unfairly Denied Licenses to Work

    New Nationwide Report Offers the Most Comprehensive Look at the Occupational Licensing Barriers Facing Ex-Offenders

    Arlington, Va.—Even as states debate opening the economy back up, millions of Americans with criminal records are still locked out of the job market. Today, nearly one in five workers needs a license to work, while one in three Americans has a criminal record of some kind. Providing the most in-depth and up-to-date look at…

  • June 19, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Fighting for a Fresh Start, California Man Sues State for Right to Firefighting Career

    Despite firefighter shortage, former inmates trained to fight forest fires are blocked from full-time positions

    Sacramento, Calif.—If California trains inmates to fight fires, why does it stop them from becoming full-time firefighters after their release? With a shortage of firefighters in rural areas and fires an increasing threat, why are qualified applicants rejected out of hand because of old, irrelevant crimes? Now a California man is challenging a rule that…

  • June 18, 2020    |   Private Property

    Proposed Reforms of Chicago’s Impound Program Are “Strong First Step,” But More Must Be Done

    The Institute for Justice is engaged in a federal class action lawsuit to correct the program’s abuses

    CHICAGO—In the spring of 2019, the Institute for Justice, a non-profit, public interest law firm launched a class action lawsuit against Chicago’s impound scheme. The lawsuit challenges the city’s impound scheme in three areas: It imposes unconstitutionally excessive fines by subjecting owners to fines for crimes they did not commit; it violates due process; and…

  • June 18, 2020

    Memphis Residents File Lawsuit Against Shelby County Environmental Court for Affording No Real Due Process 

    Blight “Court” lacks basic procedural protections for people trying to save their homes 

    Memphis, Tenn.—It is not an exaggeration to say that the Shelby County Environmental Court ruined Sarah Hohenberg’s life. In 2009, a tree fell on her home causing significant damage. While she tried to get her insurance to pay for repairs to her home, Ms. Hohenberg’s neighbors sued her in the Environmental Court. The court’s multi-year proceedings left her without a home, without…

  • Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Cases Challenging Qualified Immunity

    Ruling Leaves in Place System that Has Allowed Rampant Violations of the Constitution

    Arlington, Va.—The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear eight separate cases that had presented opportunities to reconsider its doctrine of “qualified immunity.” That doctrine, created by the Supreme Court in 1982, holds that government officials can be held accountable for violating the Constitution only if they violate a “clearly established” constitutional rule. In practice,…

  • June 12, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    ARLINGTON, Va.—In almost every state, when you get sick and visit your doctor, you can obtain prescribed medications right there in the doctor’s office—a practice known as “doctor dispensing.” But not in Montana, which bans most doctors from dispensing medications. Dr. Carol Bridges, Dr. Cara Harrop and Dr. Todd Bergland want to use doctor dispensing…

  • June 11, 2020    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    ARLINGTON, Va.—In a sweeping victory for free speech, yesterday a federal appeals court ruled that the First Amendment protects teachers’ right to teach as well as students’ right to learn. The three-judge panel’s unanimous decision ruled that California likely violated the constitutional rights of Bob Smith, owner of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School, by prohibiting him…

  • June 11, 2020    |   First Amendment

    Federal Court Strikes Down Charleston’s Tour-Guide License

    Appeals court ruling affirms that Charleston violated would-be guides’ First Amendment rights

    Arlington, Va. —This morning, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled unanimously that Charleston, S.C., violated the First Amendment by making it illegal for anyone to give paid tours of the city without obtaining a special license. The ordinance, which was first struck down by a South Carolina trial court in…

  • When the Government Destroys a Home, Must It Pay for the Damage Done?

    Institute for Justice Appeals “Takings” Case To the U.S. Supreme Court

    Police searched for a shoplifter and chased him into the Lechs’ home. Then the police literally blew up the family’s home, using explosives and a battering ram. Then—even after the government condemned the home and it had to be bulldozed—the police said they were merely exercising their “police power,” so they owed the Lechs nothing.…

  • To improve policing, we must end long-running policies that incentivize bad behavior and break down trust between the police and the public: End Abusive Fines & Fees End Civil Forfeiture End Qualified Immunity Arlington, Va. —As nationwide protests over police abuse have convulsed the nation in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, practical…

  • June 3, 2020    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    With a Hunger Crisis Impending, One Washington County Doubles-Down on Campaign to Block Little Free Pantries

    County regulators had audacity to bill a resident thousands of dollars for the Health Board’s illegal enforcement actions

    In the midst of a pandemic and economic collapse, the Asotin County Board of Health has proven that it will stop at nothing to prevent a charity-minded constituent from helping her hungry neighbors. The latest twist in the county’s months-long campaign to stop Kathy Hay from operating a “little free pantry” came in the form…

  • George Floyd and Beyond: How “Qualified Immunity” Enables Bad Policing

    Fabricated Doctrine of Qualified Immunity Enables Rampant Violation of Constitutional Rights And Allows Law Enforcement to Escape Accountability

    Arlington, Va. —This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to accept eight different cases that spotlight how the system of “qualified immunity”—which the Supreme Court created in 1982—has led to the regular and widespread violation of constitutional rights by police and other government officials. While the nation is focused on the tragic death…

  • May 29, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Lawsuit Challenging D.C.’s Day Care Education Requirement Scores Win At Appeals Court

    D.C. Circuit rejects trial court’s dismissal of the case, allowing lawsuit to move forward

    WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a requirement that day care providers obtain a college degree before taking care of kids. Ilumi Sanchez, a D.C. day care provider who has taken care of dozens of children since 1995, partnered with the Institute…

  • May 27, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    Today, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a major reform bill that eliminates licensing requirements for hair and makeup artists, a move that will protect more than 1,000 jobs. Under SF 2898/ HF 3202, hair and makeup artists will be free to style hair and apply makeup as soon as they finish a four-hour course on health, safety, and…

  • May 27, 2020    |   Private Property

    New Orleans-Area Residents File Class Action Lawsuit Over Due Process Violations in Criminal Proceedings

    Case targets the relationship between a judge and a private ankle-monitoring company

    New Orleans, La.—Today, New Orleans-area resident Marshall Sookram joined Hakeem Meade in a class action lawsuit against a judge on the New Orleans Criminal District Court for violating their right to neutral adjudication. Judge Paul A. Bonin previously ordered both men to pretrial ankle monitoring by ETOH Monitoring, LLC (ETOH). What the two men and…

Media Team

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