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Press Releases

  • September 24, 2019

    Six South Side Entrepreneurs Move on to Finals in Pitch Showcase

    Sixth annual South Side Pitch competition will demonstrate business savvy of South Siders

    CHICAGO— The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (IJ Clinic) is proud to announce the finalists who will pitch their innovative businesses to a crowd of 250 at South Side Pitch 2019 on Thursday, October 10. The IJ Clinic started hosting South Side Pitch in 2014 to shine a light on the entrepreneurial energy of Chicago’s South Side. This year, the competition received more than 100 applications. The six finalists below will compete for a shot at $11,000 in cash prizes and a year of membership to the Polsky Exchange in Hyde Park.

  • September 12, 2019    |   Private Property

    Judge Declares Lancaster District Attorney Forfeiture Records Subject to Right to Know Law Request

    Reporter Carter Walker and LNP will file new request for information on Lancaster district attorney’s spending

    Lancaster, Pa.—In a newly released decision, Lancaster County Judge Leonard Brown determined that forfeiture records being sought by reporter Carter Walker and the media group LNP are subject to a Pennsylvania Right to Know Law request. However, the judge also ruled that the newspaper’s current request was not detailed enough to order the Lancaster District…

  • September 11, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Arlington, Va.—The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, announced that it will hear arguments in a challenge to Baltimore’s restrictive and confusing food truck rules. In 2016, food truck owners Joey Vanoni and Nikki McGowan teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to strike down the city’s ban on mobile vendors operating…

  • September 9, 2019

    A case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court could have wide-ranging ramifications for the millions of Americans whose drivers’ licenses have been suspended because of unpaid fines or fees. That is the warning a group of five national organizations gave to the Supreme Court in a brief urging it to prohibit police officers from stopping…

  • September 6, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Under New Proposed Regulation, “Veggie” Burgers Will Be Legal in Mississippi

    Federal lawsuit prompted regulatory changes that would allow vegetarian and vegan food producers to continue using clear labels

    Jackson, Miss.—Under a new regulation proposed late yesterday by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture in response to a First Amendment lawsuit, vegan and vegetarian food companies would be allowed to continue using meat and meat product terms on their food labels. The new proposed regulation reverses course from the law banning plant-based foods from using…

  • August 30, 2019    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    Hinga Mbogo’s long road to justice came to an abrupt and frustrating end today when the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear his challenge against Dallas’ efforts to force out his beloved auto mechanic shop so that the city can make way for the city’s preferred businesses, such as chain restaurants or coffee shops. “Although…

  • August 22, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Emails Reveal Coordination Between Downtown Restaurant Owner and Council Member to Cripple Food Trucks

    Public records request shines a light on the anti-competitive motivations behind vending ordinance being considered by Metro Council this evening

    Louisville, Ky.—Emails brought to light by a public records request from the Institute for Justice (IJ) reveal how Louisville Metro Council member Barbara Sexton-Smith leaned on Metro officials on behalf of a restaurant owner to cripple food trucks. IJ submitted its request back in November 2018, but only received these emails after suing Sexton-Smith and…

  • August 15, 2019    |   Educational Choice

    Familias de Nevada Piden a la Corte que Restaure los Créditos Fiscales para las Becas

    La Legislatura aprobó el proyecto de ley sin la supermayoría requerida para los proyectos de ley de recaudación de ingresos.

    Las Vegas, Nev.- Mientras los estudiantes de Nevada regresan a clases esta semana, algunos no irán a las escuelas que sus familias deseaban para ellos. A principios de este año, la Legislatura de Nevada eliminó el aumento anual automático en la cantidad de créditos fiscales disponibles para los donantes de la Beca de la Oportunidad…

  • August 15, 2019    |   Educational Choice

    Nevada Families Ask Court to Restore Tax Credits for Scholarships

    Legislature passed bill without supermajority required for revenue-raising bills

    Las Vegas, Nev.—As Nevada students return to classrooms this week, some will not be attending the schools their families wanted for them. Earlier this year, the Nevada Legislature eliminated the automatic annual increase in the amount of tax credits available for donors to the Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program. However, this revenue-raising measure was not…

  • August 13, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Every day, lawyers at the Institute for Justice advocate for the end of the protectionism inherent in occupational licensing laws.  They don’t overlook their own profession. Continuing education requirements impose an expensive and often useless cost on licensed practitioners.  That’s true for lawyers, real estate brokers, doctors and other licensed workers.  IJ and attorneys from…

  • August 9, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Arlington, Va.—Today, Institute for Justice client Visibly hit the pause button on challenges to South Carolina and Indiana laws banning its online vision testing software. This move comes in response to a shift in Food and Drug Administration policy on how such technology is classified—a shift that requires the company to re-apply for FDA approval…

  • August 1, 2019

    Illinois Family Sues to End Law Threatening Them With Compulsory Eviction for a Crime They Did Not Commit

    After a house guest was arrested, Granite City, Ill. police are now trying to evict everyone in the home: An innocent family with three teenaged kids

    On a sunny afternoon last month, Jessica Barron and Kenny Wylie were startled to hear a knock on the door of their home on a quiet street in Granite City, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis. The knock quickly turned into pounding and a call: “Police, open up!” Adrenaline rushing, they told their kids to…

  • July 29, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Minneapolis—Minnesotans became one step closer to having more wine options today when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that two Minnesota wineries can move forward with their challenge to a little-known but onerous state law that severely restricts the kinds of grapes they can use to make wine. Under the law, a winery…

  • July 26, 2019

    Mandan, N.D.—Following a federal court order in Lonesome Dove’s lawsuit against Mandan over the city’s mural guidelines, all Mandan businesses are free to display murals without the government’s permission as the lawsuit continues. On July 11, Magistrate Judge Clare R. Hochhalter of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota ordered that “The…

  • July 26, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Chicago, Ill.—Carmen Nava-Najera, known to her customers as Mrs. Nava, has been selling her handmade tamales on Chicago streets for 22 years. Now, after a long struggle, Mrs. Nava’s tamale cart has been licensed by the city. She is the first member of the Street Vendors Association of Chicago to have her equipment approved, paving…

  • July 26, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Chicago, Ill.-Carmen Nava-Najera, conocida por sus clientes como Mrs. Nava, ha estado vendiendo sus tamales hechos a mano en las calles de Chicago durante 22 años. Ahora, después de una larga lucha, el carro para tamales de la Sra. Nava ha sido autorizado por la ciudad. Ella es el primer miembro de la Asociación de…

  • July 24, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Freelance Novelists Sue Charlottesville to Protect Their First Amendment Rights

    Freelance authors are being charged a tax from which institutional writers are exempt

    Charlottesville, Va.— Last summer, Charlottesville tax collectors sent Corban Addison a letter ordering him to pay thousands of dollars in business license taxes he had unknowingly been accruing since 2015. There’s just one problem with the city’s demand: Corban does not run a business or a storefront of any kind. He is simply a novelist…

  • July 22, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Another Lawsuit Challenges Meat Labeling Laws

    Plaintiffs in Mississippi lawsuit support similar legal action in Arkansas to stop a law that bans plant-based foods from using meat product terms like “burger” and “bacon”

    Arlington, Va.—Laws banning vegan and vegetarian foods from using common meat terms such as “burger” and “bacon” passed in several states earlier this year. Today, a new First Amendment lawsuit was launched against one of these laws in Arkansas. Upton’s Naturals and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ),…

  • July 18, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Federal Court Upholds Censorship of Dietary Advice

    Health Coach Plans to Appeal Decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Pensacola, Fl.—In a blow to entrepreneurs across the Sunshine State, a federal judge yesterday upheld a Florida law that gives state licensed dietitians and nutritionists a monopoly on giving individualized dietary advice. The ruling means that privately certified health coaches like plaintiff Heather Del Castillo can face up to a year in jail or $1,000…

  • July 16, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Food Truck Advocates Ask Court to Force Council Members to Provide Public Records

    Sponsors of ordinance that could cripple industry have stonewalled Open Records Act request for months

    Louisville, Ky.—It is time to shed light on why some Metro Council members keep pushing new food truck regulations. This morning, the Institute for Justice (IJ) sued four Metro Council members who are refusing to turn over public records. This is the latest action in a legal battle that began in 2017 when two Louisville…


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