Press Releases

  • July 9, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Wisconsin Ends Occupational Licensing for Hair Braiders

    Braiding Licenses Also Cited by President Biden in New Executive Order Targeting “Unfair” Licensing Laws

    Wisconsin has now become the 31st state to eliminate licensing for natural hair braiders, thanks to a bill (AB 121) signed Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers. 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 chemicals or dyes in their work.  Yet Wisconsin was…

  • July 8, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    New Hampshire Eliminates Unconstitutional Restriction on School Tuitioning Program

    Family who launched 2020 lawsuit to end exclusion of religious schools praises new law

    CONCORD, N.H.—In a major win for educational choice, Gov. Chris Sununu yesterday signed a bill expanding the state’s town tuitioning program to include religious private schools. The tuitioning program empowers local school districts that do not operate public schools for certain grade levels to pay tuition for students to attend private schools or other public…

  • July 2, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    Supreme Court Will Hear Potentially Landmark Maine School Choice Case

    High Court will Resolve Whether States May Bar Parents Who Select Schools that Provide Religious Instruction from Participating in Student-Aid Program

    Arlington, Virginia—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a potentially landmark case challenging a Maine law that bans families from an otherwise generally available student-aid program if they choose to send their children to schools that teach religion. The Institute for Justice (IJ), which represents the parents in Carson v. Makin, will argue the…

  • July 1, 2021    |   First Amendment

    U.S. Supreme Court Donor Disclosure Ruling is a Victory for Freedom of Association

    Ruling in AFP v. Bonta Strikes Down California Requirement That Charities Disclose Donors

    Arlington, Virginia—In its final opinion of the 2020-2021 Term, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down a California requirement that all nonprofits operating in the state turn over a list of their largest contributors to the state’s Attorney General. The Institute for Justice (IJ) filed an amicus brief in the consolidated cases, Americans for Prosperity Foundation…

  • June 30, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Florida Barbers Free to Leave the Shop Under Newly Signed Law

    New law allows barbers to cut hair outside of registered barbershops

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Gov. Ron DeSantis last night signed a bill into law allowing Sunshine State barbers to cut hair in places other than registered barbershops. House Bill 855 received unanimous support in both the Florida House and Senate. The Institute for Justice (IJ) supported the legislation, which expands on the sweeping licensing reform passed last year.…

  • June 30, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    New Florida Law Eliminates Patchwork of Local Occupational Licenses in Florida

    Institute for Justice praises measure that makes it easier to run small businesses across the Sunshine State

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Last night, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that will make it easier for many Floridians to work. House Bill 735 bans Florida municipalities and counties from creating additional licensing requirements for a long list of occupations. For instance, under the new law, cities cannot create new local occupational licenses for handyman…

  • June 30, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    New Laws Will Give a Boost to Home-based Entrepreneurs

    Institute for Justice praises measures that give more freedom to homemade food businesses and other home businesses

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Last night, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a pair of bills that will make it easier for Floridians to earn a living from home. House Bill 663, named the “Home Sweet Home Act,” reforms rules on selling shelf-stable homemade foods, commonly known as cottage foods, and House Bill 403 standardizes rules for operating businesses inside…

  • June 29, 2021

    ARLINGTON, Va.—Today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC, v. New Jersey is a quiet but vitally important victory for private property owners nationwide. The federal government had urged the Supreme Court to use this case to announce a sweeping rule under which landowners defending against a condemnation for a natural-gas pipeline…

  • June 29, 2021    |   First Amendment

    Entrepreneurship Advocates Call on Chicago City Council to Finally Reform Sign Approvals

    Legislation to reform application process for new signs was pulled from City Council agenda during June meeting

    CHICAGO—The Chicago City Council recently voted to strip sign permit reform out of a package of business reforms, disappointing small businesses and advocates calling for a straightforward and fair application process. Chicago, unlike any other major city in the United States, requires the entire City Council to vote on the permit for every sign that…

  • June 23, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Final Victory for North Dakota Cottage Food Producers

    The Cottage Food Act is safe after the N.D. Health Department makes clear the legal fight is over

    BISMARCK, N.D.— Cottage food producers across the state can now rest assured that they can sell their homemade foods—like pizzas, mac and cheese, and canned vegetables—exactly as the state Legislature had intended when it passed the Cottage Food Act. Last December, North Dakota Judge Cynthia M. Feland ruled that the North Dakota Department of Health…

  • June 23, 2021

    Family-Owned Hardware Store Asks Federal Court to Halt Eminent Domain

    Town of Southold quietly moved to take the Brinkmanns’ property just a day after they filed a federal lawsuit

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y.—The family owners of a chain of Long Island hardware stores are asking a federal judge to immediately halt the town of Southold’s attempt to take their property through eminent domain. On May 4, the Brinkmann family filed a federal lawsuit seeking to protect their right to use the Southold property they own…

  • June 23, 2021    |   Private Property

    ARLINGTON, Va.—The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously rejected a sweeping rule that would have allowed police to enter people’s homes without a warrant just to pursue suspected misdemeanants. Today’s opinion in Lange v. California echoes points stressed in an amicus brief submitted by the Institute for Justice. The case arose from a minor traffic offense.…

  • June 23, 2021    |   Private Property

    Federal Judge Slaps Down Government in Challenge to U.S. Private Vaults Seizures

    Newly granted restraining order stops forfeiture of security deposit box contents for plaintiffs in Institute for Justice lawsuit

    LOS ANGELES—Late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner granted a temporary restraining order that stops the government from using civil forfeiture to take the contents of safe deposit boxes seized in the FBI’s raid on Beverly Hills company U.S. Private Vaults. Jeni Pearsons and her husband Michael Storc, along with Joseph Ruiz and Travis…

  • June 22, 2021    |   Immunity and Accountability

    Vietnam Vet Assaulted by Fed. Police Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider His Fourth Amendment Lawsuit

    In his petition for rehearing, José Oliva emphasizes that federal police should not be entitled to absolute immunity.

    ARLINGTON, Va.—In Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi federal police are now entitled to absolute immunity from individual accountability, even when they grossly violate someone’s constitutional rights. That’s because the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that even if federal police beat you for no reason and almost choke you to death—and even if you…

  • June 16, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Wisconsin Home Bakers Score Win in Court; Judge Rejects State’s Attempt to Dismiss Case

    Lawsuit filed by Wisconsin food producers challenging state’s homemade shelf-stable good ban will move forward

    DARLINGTON, Wis.—Today, Judge Rhonda L. Lanford, presiding over Lafayette County Circuit Court, denied a request from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to dismiss a lawsuit brought by seven Wisconsinites and the Wisconsin Cottage Food Association with the Institute for Justice (IJ) challenging the state’s ban on homemade shelf-stable foods. In…

  • June 15, 2021

    More U.S. Private Vault Renters Step Forward to Fight the FBI’s Efforts to Steal Over $85 Million Using Civil Forfeiture

    These owners have not been charged with any crime, but the government is trying to permanently take their most prized possessions—without telling them why

    LOS ANGELES—Using civil forfeiture, the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to permanently take the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes, including over $85 million in cash and precious metals, jewelry and other valuables worth millions more. But the boxes’ owners have not been accused of any crime and have not been told what…

  • June 10, 2021    |   Private Property

    Victory for Tyson Timbs: Indiana Man Keeps Car After Eight-Year Legal Battle

    The Indiana Supreme Court confirms that forfeiting Tyson’s car violates the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause

    Arlington, Va.—Indiana man Tyson Timbs’s fight against civil forfeiture made national news in February 2019, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause applies not just to the federal government, but to the states as well. That decision established a rule of law for Americans nationwide. But it didn’t get…

  • June 10, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    New Report: DC Must Cut Red Tape for Local Businesses to Pave the Path to Recovery

    New bill addresses major problems identified in the report

    WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto introduced the Business and Entrepreneurship Support to Thrive (BEST) Amendment Act of 2021, to streamline the licensing process for new and existing businesses. Today, a new report by the Institute for Justice (IJ) underscores the vital need to pass this reform—especially as so many recover from the personal and financial burdens of the pandemic.   The report, Blueprint for Business: Cutting Red Tape and Supporting DC…

  • June 10, 2021    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    North Carolina Board Tells Retired Engineer He Can’t Talk About Engineering

    Wilmington resident files First Amendment lawsuit to protect his right to speak from his expertise and experience

    WILMINGTON, N.C.—Wayne Nutt is an engineer. He graduated with a degree in engineering and worked most of his career in North Carolina without ever needing a license to actually work as an engineer. But now, the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors is telling Wayne that speaking publicly about engineering without a…

  • June 9, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    Kentucky Families Fight to Defend the State’s Bold New School Choice Program 

    A legal attack attempts to end Kentucky’s “Education Opportunity Account” (EOA) Program  

    FRANKFORT, Ky.—Today, the Institute for Justice (IJ)  moved to intervene on behalf of Florence, Kentucky, parent Akia McNeary and Newport, Kentucky, great-grandparent Nancy Deaton to defend Kentucky’s bold new school choice program, the Education Opportunity Account (EOA) Program, from a lawsuit filed Monday. IJ is the nation’s leading advocate for school choice, having won 24 school choice litigation fights, including three at the…

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