Press Releases

  • July 30, 2020

    CHICAGO—Mayor Lightfoot is about to celebrate her first birthday in office. But Chicago’s most famous advocate for staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be able to order home delivery of a homemade birthday cake. At least, not legally. Like many cities and towns across Illinois, Chicago doesn’t allow a home baker to sell…

  • July 28, 2020    |   Private Property

    Roseau County Landowners Coalition Teams Up with National Organization, Launches Campaign Against Minnesota’s Pointless Land Grab

    The Roseau Lake Rehabilitation Project could threaten thousands of acres of productive, family-owned farmland for no real public benefit

    Roseau County, Minn.—Today, the Roseau County Landowners Coalition parked two 50-foot trailers in Roseau to spread the word about a project that would devastate their productive family farmlands for no real benefit. At over 50 farmers and landowners strong, the Coalition is launching a campaign in collaboration with the Institute for Justice (IJ), a national…

  • July 23, 2020    |   Private Property

    Seattle ‘Housing Affordability’ Law Forces Hard-working Homeowners to Pay Ransom for Building Permit—Now Two Residents Are Fighting Back

    Seattle’s ironically-named law makes renovating a modest home prohibitively expensive for middle-income homeowners

    Almost two years ago, Andre and Erika Cherry bought their first home together. The home, located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Seattle, was a modest two-bedroom fixer-upper built in 1916. After a century of wear and tear, the home showed its age and needed a top-to-bottom renovation—but the Cherrys were up for the challenge.…

  • July 22, 2020    |   Private Property

    Reforms to Chicago’s Impound Program Are Not Enough

    The Institute for Justice’s federal class action lawsuit to correct the program’s abuses will continue

    CHICAGO—Today, the Chicago City Council amended its impound program to fix some of the glaring constitutional problems that led the Institute to Justice (IJ) to bring a class-action lawsuit against the city. That lawsuit challenges three aspects of the city’s impound scheme: its fining of vehicle owners for crimes they did not commit; its failure…

  • July 22, 2020

    South Side Pitch Business Competition Moves Online this Fall

    Application period is now open in annual competition to showcase entrepreneurs

    CHICAGO—South Side Pitch, the annual business pitch competition, will move online this fall in order to continue highlighting South Side entrepreneurs. The application period is now open and aspiring entrepreneurs can visit www.southsidepitch.com/apply for contest details and to apply. Since its inception, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship-hosted competition has been a powerful demonstration…

  • July 15, 2020    |   Private Property

    Institute for Justice Asks S.C. Supreme Court to Strike Down Civil Forfeiture Laws

    Case asks court to end “policing for profit” and restore South Carolinians’ expectation that they are innocent until proven guilty

    Civil forfeiture is one of the biggest threats to property rights in South Carolina. It allows law enforcement to take cash, cars, homes and other property from South Carolinians without so much as charging —let alone convicting—the owner with a crime and then profit from the proceeds. Now, the Institute for Justice (IJ)—a nonprofit, public interest…

  • July 9, 2020    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    Nashville Repeals Prohibition on Home-Business Clients

    Bill now awaits Mayor John Cooper’s signature

    Nashville—The Nashville Metropolitan Council voted early Wednesday morning to repeal the city’s longstanding ban on home businesses that serve customers. Barring an unlikely veto by Nashville’s mayor, Nashville home businesses will soon be allowed six customer visits a day, six days a week. The Institute for Justice and the Beacon Center of Tennessee have been…

  • July 7, 2020    |   Educational Choice

    Arlington, Virginia—After last week’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which held that it is unconstitutional to exclude religious schools from private educational choice programs, the Institute for Justice (IJ), which litigated the Espinoza case on behalf of parents, released a 50-state guide to help policymakers in each state better understand the impact of Espinoza in their state. The guide analyzes each state’s constitution in light of Espinoza and explains how the ruling impacts policymakers’ ability to enact educational choice programs. “As a result of Espinoza, nearly every…

  • July 6, 2020    |   Economic Liberty

    New legislation signed by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday will make it much easier for out-of-state workers and people with criminal records to become licensed in their chosen field. By imposing significant costs in terms of time and money, licensing laws often create substantial hurdles to worker mobility and prisoner reentry. For instance, according…

  • 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…

Media Team

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