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Press Releases

  • March 6, 2019    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    U.S. Coast Guard Sued for Delegating Government Power to Private Association

    Private, Self-Interested Group Denies Experienced Captain License to Work with Questionable Allegations Such as Use of “Salty” Language

    Arlington, Va.—Captain Matthew Hight was on the verge of getting his license to pilot commercial vessels on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Lake Ontario, but the U.S. Coast Guard refused to let him proceed after a for-profit association concocted reasons to deny him the right to work. What was one of those reasons? That he…

  • February 28, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    South Padre Island, Tex.—Today, a group of South Texas food trucks filed a lawsuit aiming to shut down South Padre Island’s anti-competitive food truck restrictions. The lawsuit, which was filed in Cameron County District Court, challenges the constitutionality of the city’s requirement that all food trucks obtain permission from a brick-and-mortar restaurant before opening for…

  • February 22, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Judge Orders Fort Pierce to Stop Enforcing Unconstitutional Food Truck Ban

    Law prohibits food trucks from operating within 500 feet of restaurants; one of the most restrictive bans in the nation

    Today, a Florida circuit court ruled that Fort Pierce cannot enforce its unconstitutional ban on food trucks operating within 500 feet of another establishment that sells food. Food truck owners Benny Diaz and Brian Peffer filed a lawsuit against the city for its food truck law with the Institute for Justice (IJ) for violating their…

  • February 20, 2019    |   Private Property

    Leonia Homeowners and Businesses Form Group to Stop Borough’s “Condemnation Redevelopment Study”

    A small North Jersey community joins together to stop borough officials from authorizing eminent domain for private development

    Leonia, N.J.—Today, residents, small-business owners and supporters in Leonia, New Jersey, announced the formation of Leonia United Against Eminent Domain Abuse (“Leonia United”). The new group is dedicated to stopping the abuse of eminent domain—the government’s power to take private property—which would be authorized as part of the borough’s current “condemnation redevelopment study” of their…

  • February 20, 2019    |   Private Property

    U.S. Supreme Court Rules Unanimously That States Cannot Impose Excessive Fines

    Ruling Requires Cities and States—Not Just the Federal Government— To Abide by the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause

    In an historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning held that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment protects Americans not just against the federal government, but against states and local authorities too. No matter which state you live in, every level of government must now abide by the federal Constitution’s guarantee that…

  • February 15, 2019

    Piano Man Wins Round Two In Atlantic City Eminent Domain Fight

    New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects State Agency’s Land Speculation And Effort to Condemn Atlantic City Piano Tuner’s Longtime Family Home

    ARLINGTON, VA—Atlantic City property owner Charlie Birnbaum, whose longtime family home was targeted for eminent domain abuse, gets to stay put. So ruled the New Jersey Appellate Division in a 29-page published ruling it issued today. The Atlantic City fixture and longtime piano tuner won a landmark victory for property rights today when the court…

  • February 14, 2019    |   Private Property

    At a press conference Wednesday, South Carolina lawmakers announced a bill that would abolish civil forfeiture. Should the bill pass, South Carolina would join just three other states—Nebraska, New Mexico, and North Carolina—that have ended this abusive police practice. Under civil forfeiture laws, the government can permanently confiscate cash, cars, even homes, without ever filing…

  • January 28, 2019    |   Private Property

    Driver’s License Revocation Law Drives Tennesseans Into an Irrational Cycle of Debt and Punishment

    Institute for Justice and Fines and Fees Justice Center Partner to Support Legal Challenge at Federal Appeals Court

    The state of Tennessee revokes the driver’s license of any person who fails to pay fines, costs, and litigation taxes associated with a criminal conviction for a year or more. It does this even when the defendant is too poor to pay. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee struck down the…

  • January 28, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Late last week, the Institute for Justice (IJ) filed an official comment with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the agency’s suggestion that non-dairy milks should be banned from using the word “milk” on their labels. “If a consumer is confused about the source of a product labeled ‘almond milk,’ then he has bigger…

  • January 24, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Virginia Couple Scores First-Round Victory in First Amendment Fight

    Army veteran and wife are suing State Council of Higher Education for Virginia for right to teach job skills

    Arlington, Va. — Yesterday, federal magistrate judge Roderick C. Young recommended denying the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s (SCHEV’s) motion to dismiss Jon and Tracy McGlothian’s First Amendment challenge to Virginia’s prohibition on their teaching job skills without the agency’s permission, allowing their lawsuit to proceed. “Jon and Tracy should not have to…

  • January 10, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Charleston Appeals Federal Decision Striking Down Tour Guide Licensing Law

    Institute for Justice, which represented would-be tour guides, comments on continuing legal battle

    Charleston, S.C.—Yesterday, attorneys for the City of Charleston appealed an August 2018 federal court ruling that struck down the city’s tour guide license. The licensing law was challenged by three would-be tour guides—Kimberly Billups, Michael Warfield and Michael Nolan—who joined with the Institute for Justice (IJ) in January of 2016 to file a lawsuit alleging…

  • January 10, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Among the Themes: States may not discriminate against newcomers. The U.S. Constitution has many provisions designed to prevent anticompetitive efforts like Tennessee’s. Bottleneckers—like the Retailers Association—are self-serving institutions that use the government’s power to keep their prices high, thereby hurting consumers and would-be entrepreneurs alike. Arlington, Va.—On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court…

  • January 9, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Lawsuit Challenges SEC Gag Order and Book Ban

    Institute for Justice represents Cato Institute in First Amendment lawsuit to end SEC’s imposition of unconstitutional settlement gag orders

    This press release and the lawsuit it announces are subject to a gag order imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prohibiting us from telling you the story of ████████, an American entrepreneur who, as he tells it, was the victim of an overzealous government investigation. Although the SEC agreed to settle his case…

  • January 8, 2019    |   Private Property

    New Jersey Appellate Court Curtails Eminent Domain Power

    State Court Holds That Government Must Demonstrate Property Is “Necessary” Before Condemning Private Property

    Arlington, Va.—In a decision with nationwide implications, the New Jersey Appellate Division yesterday (January 7, 2019) rejected the Borough of Glassboro’s attempt to condemn private property in service of an unspecified and undescribed “redevelopment plan,” holding that government officials cannot use their power to take property simply to engage in what the court called “land…

  • January 7, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a sweeping overhaul of Ohio’s occupational licensing laws on Friday, which govern nearly one-fifth of the state’s workforce. By limiting the ability of otherwise qualified people to work in a given field, licensing laws limit competition and drive up prices for consumers. One study published by the Institute for Justice…

  • January 4, 2019    |   Educational Choice

    Florida Supreme Court Ends Challenge to Scholarship Programs

    Years-long lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of Florida Tax Credit and McKay Scholarships

    Tallahassee, Fla.—In a decision issued today, the Florida Supreme Court ended a years-long lawsuit that included a challenge to the constitutionality of the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship and the McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities. The Institute for Justice (IJ) defended the programs on behalf of parents of scholarships students. “Today, after years…

  • January 3, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Today, Florida food truck owners are one step closer to vindicating their right to economic liberty after a judge denied the city of Fort Pierce’s motion to dismiss a challenge to its law requiring that food trucks be over 500 feet from any restaurant to legally operate. This ruling by Judge Lawrence Mirman of the…

  • January 2, 2019    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Oregon Engineer Wins Traffic-Light Timing Lawsuit

    Federal court upholds Swedish engineer’s right to talk about traffic lights, invalidates Oregon’s restriction on the title “engineer”

    Arlington, Va.—On December 28, 2018, Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon entered a judgment largely ruling for Mats Järlström in his First Amendment lawsuit against Oregon’s engineering board. Mats sued the board in 2017, asserting that Oregon’s engineering-licensing law violated his First Amendment rights by banning him…

  • December 21, 2018    |   First Amendment

    Arlington, Va.— Thursday afternoon, Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., of the District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, dismissed a lawsuit brought by Vizaline, LLP, a digital geospatial and visualization technology startup, that sought to strike down a Mississippi surveyor licensing law that the state board of surveyors is unconstitutionally trying to use to shut…

  • December 21, 2018    |   Private Property

    Indio Agrees to Settle Prosecution-Fees Lawsuit; Will Return All Fees to Residents

    Coachella remains a defendant in the lawsuit, which continues to progress through the courts

    Today the city of Indio, California, has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought by the Institute for Justice (IJ) on behalf of Ramona Morales and other Riverside County residents forced to pay outrageously high attorney’s fees to a law firm called Silver & Wright. The city had hired the firm to enforce its…


Media Team

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