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Press Releases

  • November 14, 2019

    Washington Supreme Court Reverses Decades of Precedent Protecting the Constitutional Rights of Washingtonians

    Court issues opinion effectively writing large portions of the Washington Constitution out of existence

    In a unanimous opinion issued today in the case of Yim v. City of Seattle, No. 95813-1, the Supreme Court of Washington upheld the city of Seattle’s “First In Time” (FIT) law from a constitutional challenge brought by Seattle landlords. The FIT ordinance required Seattle landlords to offer vacant units to the first qualified applicant.…

  • November 14, 2019

    In a move to end discrimination and provide expanded employment and educational opportunities to Washington’s higher-ed students, yesterday the Washington Student Achievement Council adopted new regulations that will allow students in the state’s Work Study Program to take jobs with religiously affiliated employers. The new regulations were adopted in response to a 2018 lawsuit challenging…

  • November 12, 2019    |   Private Property

    Save the Pearl: New Group Formed to Oppose Tulsa Development Authority’s Eminent Domain Plans

    A community in Tulsa joins together to stop city officials from following through with plans to tear down homes for “urban renewal”

    Tulsa, Okla.—Today, residents and supporters of Tulsa’s Pearl District announced the formation of a new group, Save the Pearl Coalition. The new group is dedicated to stopping the city and Tulsa Development Authority (TDA) from taking residents’ homes against their will for the purpose of redevelopment. While the TDA has publicized the plans as a…

  • November 7, 2019

    Institute for Justice Asks U.S. Supreme Court to End Colorado Law Allowing Neighbors to Engage in Eminent Domain Abuse

    Colorado law allows neighbors to gang up on one another, create fake municipalities, and then seize property using eminent domain—all without any government oversight

    Arlington, Va. — Imagine if two of your neighbors got together, claimed they established a new town, and then “voted” to take your property from you using eminent domain. Crazy, right? Not in Colorado, where the owners of Woodcrest Homes are battling a competing developer’s attempt to use eminent domain to take their property. After…

  • November 7, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Victory for Vegan Burgers: New Mississippi Labeling Regulations Will Not Punish Plant-Based Meat

    Upton’s Naturals and the Plant Based Foods Association drop federal lawsuit after forcing regulatory changes that allow plant-based food companies to use common meat product terms

    Jackson, Miss.—Today, Mississippi’s revised labeling regulations took effect allowing plant-based food companies to continue using common meat product terms like burgers and hot dogs. As a result, Upton’s Naturals and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) today dropped a federal lawsuit they filed in July. The company and association teamed up with the Institute for…

  • November 6, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Today, a judge in Sturgeon Bay denied the Town of Gibraltar’s motion to dismiss a family business’s lawsuit challenging the town’s vending restrictions. The town bans food trucks from operating unless they acquire a town license, which is conditioned on staying out of areas that restaurants operate in, being closed during…

  • November 5, 2019    |   First Amendment

    IJ Defends Small Business Owners Against Government-Compelled Speech

    Supreme Court Brief Explains Compelled Disclaimer Confusion

    Arlington, Va.—The Institute for Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect small business owners from being forced to mislead their customers. This request was made in an amicus brief filed by the Institute in support of the second petition for writ of certiorari in the case of CTIA–The Wireless Association v. City of Berkeley,…

  • November 1, 2019    |   Private Property

    IJ Scores Win In Lawsuit Against IRS Over Forfeiture Records

    Appeals Court Rejects IRS’s Argument For Stonewalling FOIA Request

    WASHINGTON—This morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously sided with the Institute for Justice (IJ) in a fight with the IRS over the agency’s forfeiture records. In its decision, the court ruled that the IRS cannot deliberately frustrate FOIA requests by quibbling over immaterial technicalities. The court also ruled that the…

  • October 29, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Richmond Horror Publisher Fights Undead Federal Law

    Valancourt Books is a small publisher suing Copyright Office to stop ruinous fines

    Richmond, Va.—Richmond is home to Valancourt Books, a small publisher that specializes in reviving horror novels that have gone out of print. They bring back from the dead 18th-century Gothic novels, Victorian horror novels and even genre paperbacks from the 1970s and ‘80s. Yet their novel business is under threat from the U.S. Copyright Office,…

  • October 28, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Baton Rouge, La.—A judge in Baton Rouge this morning denied the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from three Louisiana hair braiders contesting the state’s hair braiding license. Current Louisiana licensing requirements force hair braiders to undergo 500 hours of training to legally braid hair as a career in the state, the…

  • October 28, 2019    |   Private Property

    With Indiana Supreme Court Ruling, Tyson Timbs Is One Step Closer to Getting His Car Back

    Indiana Supreme Court declares that the state does not have a free hand to impose excessive fines and forfeitures

    Arlington, Va.—In a path-marking ruling, today the Indiana Supreme Court announced that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause secures meaningful protections against exorbitant fines and forfeitures. The case of State of Indiana v. Tyson Timbs was back before the court after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tyson Timbs’s favor in February on the question…

  • October 25, 2019    |   Other

    Arlington, Va.—On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether federal officials can be brought before a federal court to answer for violating another person’s constitutional rights. There is no question state and local government officials can; the question is whether the same rule should apply to federal officers. The case, Hernandez v. Mesa,…

  • October 24, 2019    |   Private Property

    New Report: Cities Pay a Price for Excessive Ticketing

    Investigation of Georgia cities finds heavy reliance on fines and fees revenue puts citizens’ rights and community trust at risk

    Arlington, Va.—Across the nation, cities and their court systems impose major fines and fees for minor traffic and municipal code violations—often using the revenue to fund municipal and court operations. A new Institute for Justice (IJ) study examines such “taxation by citation,” finding that when cities use their enforcement powers more to raise revenue than…

  • October 24, 2019    |   Private Property

    New Report: Georgia Cities Pay a Price for Excessive Ticketing

    Investigation of three Georgia cities finds heavy reliance on fines and fees revenue puts citizens’ rights and community trust at risk

    Arlington, Va.—Across the nation, cities and their court systems impose major fines and fees for minor traffic and municipal code violations—often using the revenue to fund municipal and court operations. A new Institute for Justice (IJ) study examines such “taxation by citation” in three Georgia cities, finding that when cities use their enforcement powers more…

  • October 23, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Does the First Amendment Protect Teaching for a Living?

    That’s the question the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear tomorrow in San Francisco

    Tomorrow, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear a case asking whether the First Amendment protects teachers’ right to teach and students’ right to learn. Bob Smith runs Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (PCHS) just outside of Sacramento, Ca. He teaches aspiring farriers how to shoe horses. For students with limited formal…

  • October 22, 2019    |   Private Property

    PHILADELPHIA— Philadelphians who lost their property to the city’s abusive civil forfeiture machine must apply by December 6, 2019 to receive a cash settlement. Last fall, the Institute for Justice (IJ) announced an agreement with the city to end a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who had homes, cash and cars wrongfully seized.…

  • October 16, 2019    |   First Amendment

    After winning his First Amendment right to challenge the timing of yellow lights in court, now Mats Jarlstrom—along with a team of others—has also convinced the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to reevaluate its guidelines for the timing of traffic signals. In 2017, the Institute for Justice (IJ) partnered with Mats to file a lawsuit…

  • October 15, 2019    |   Private Property

    Pleasant Ridge Homeowners Will Have Their Day In Court

    Judge orders November trial on homeowners’ claims that the city of Charlestown violated the U.S. and Indiana Constitutions

    Charlestown, Ind.—The homeowners in Charlestown’s Pleasant Ridge neighborhood will see Charlestown Mayor Robert Hall and his staff in court on November 12, 2019 for the start of a five-day trial on the homeowners’ claims that the city violated their constitutional rights. Yesterday, Judge Jason M. Mount of Scott County, sitting by special designation in Clark…

  • October 11, 2019

    South Side Pitch Crowns Winner in Annual Business Competition

    All-natural detergent company Dinobi Detergent rises above 120 competitors

    CHICAGO—Six South Side entrepreneurs took the stage last night with three crowned winners and all the contestants gaining valuable experience in promoting their unique business ideas. For six years running, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (IJ Clinic) has hosted South Side Pitch. Dinobi Detergent, which makes an all natural detergent, took first place…

  • October 10, 2019    |   Private Property

    First Round Victory in Challenge to Compulsory-Eviction Law

    Federal court issues two emergency injunctions against Granite City, Illinois’ “crime free housing” law

    Yesterday, Judge Staci M. Yandle of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued temporary restraining orders protecting two Granite City families from eviction under the city’s compulsory-eviction law. Represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), the two families had filed civil-rights lawsuits against the city, the first in August and the…


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