Press Releases

  • June 25, 2019

    Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced on Monday that he intends to veto HB 748, a bill that would substantially reform the state’s civil forfeiture laws and end law enforcement’s perverse incentive to police for profit. Under current law, agencies can confiscate valuable property without ever filing criminal charges. Once property has been forfeited and auctioned…

  • June 25, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Bill Protecting the Right to Grow Your Own Food Signed by Governor

    Miami-area couple plans to re-plant their garden next week

    Tallahassee, Fla.—Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 82, legislation protecting the right of all Floridians to grow vegetables and fruit on their own property. For one Miami-area couple, this represents the end of a years-long struggle that started when their town ordered them to dig up the garden they had been growing for 17 years.…

  • June 21, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    New Proposal Would Slash Hours of Training Needed to Get Barber License

    Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation proposes reduced requirements for barber licenses

    Tallahassee, Fla.—The hours of training necessary to earn a living as a barber would be decreased under a proposed regulation issued today by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The proposal eliminates 700 hours of unnecessary training to obtain a restricted barber license (the license used by many barbers) by reducing the pre-test…

  • June 20, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Louisiana Hair Braiders File Lawsuit to Untangle State’s Unnecessary Braiding License

    Louisiana has nation’s most onerous speciality braiding license

    New Orleans, La.—Why does the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology require 500 hours of training to do something as safe as hair braiding? That is the question three Louisiana hair braiders raised in a new lawsuit Thursday with the Institute for Justice (IJ), a national public interest law firm that fights for economic liberty. Lynn…

  • June 14, 2019    |   Private Property

    Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation that stops the Internal Revenue Service from raiding the bank accounts of small-business owners. The Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act, passed as part of the Taxpayer First Act (H.R. 3151), is named after Institute for Justice clients Jeff Hirsch and Randy Sowers, two victims of the IRS’s aggressive seizures for so-called “structuring.” Through structuring…

  • June 11, 2019    |   Private Property

    Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama Forfeiture Information Reporting Act (SB 191) late Monday, which will shine a light on law enforcement’s often secretive use of civil forfeiture. Without ever charging the owner with a crime, police and prosecutors can seize cash, cars, and other valuables, and if the property is forfeited, keep up to…

  • June 11, 2019    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Free Speech Fight: Texas Veterinarian Heads to Appeals Court for Right to Give Advice Online

    First Amendment Lawsuit Has Major Implications for Free Speech and Telepractice

    AUSTIN, Texas—Today, Texas veterinarian Dr. Ron Hines announced that he will ask the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to recognize that a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer, NIFLA v. Becerra, established that the First Amendment protects the right of licensed professionals to give advice over the internet. Ron joined forces with the…

  • June 11, 2019    |   Private Property

    New Report: Nation’s Largest Forfeiture Program Fails to Fight Crime

    Extensive, Decade-Long Study Also Provides Fresh Evidence of “Policing for Profit” in Federal Equitable Sharing Program

    Arlington, Va.—A new Institute for Justice study (PDF) finds the nation’s largest forfeiture program does not help police fight crime. Instead, the study indicates police use forfeiture to boost revenue—in other words, to police for profit. The IJ study, “Fighting Crime or Raising Revenue? Testing Opposing Views of Forfeiture,” combines local crime, drug use and economic…

  • May 31, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Minnesota will no longer license natural hair braiders thanks to an omnibus budget bill Gov. Tim Walz signed on Thursday. Previously, Minnesota required braiders to complete a 30-hour course and pay a $20 fee before they could practice their craft. But under SF 10, braiders are now completely exempt from all occupational and facility licensing…

  • May 31, 2019    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    Texas Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Alcohol Distribution Law

    Craft breweries must continue forfeiting their own distribution rights

    Today, in a blow to the economic liberty of all Texans, the Texas Supreme Court refused to grant review in a constitutional challenge that asked whether the government can use its power to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. The legal challenge concerned a law passed in 2013 at the behest of beer distributors…

  • May 31, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Maryland Court of Special Appeals Reinstates Baltimore Food Truck Restrictions

    Food Truck Owners Will Appeal to State’s Highest Court

    Arlington, Va.—The Maryland Court of Special Appeals yesterday reinstated Baltimore’s ban on mobile vendors operating within 300 feet of any brick and mortar establishment selling similar food. This overturns a 2017 Baltimore Circuit Court ruling that declared the city’s 300-foot ban too vague to enforce. The Institute for Justice (IJ) and two food trucks, Pizza…

  • May 28, 2019    |   Private Property

    U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert In Case Dealing with Pipeline Company’s Abuses of Eminent Domain

    Pipeline Companies Nationwide Can Continue To Unlawfully Take Land Now and Pay (Much) Later

    Arlington, Va.—The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to review a case that documented how pipeline companies flout the law by taking property before compensating property owners. The case arose out of southeast Pennsylvania where Gary and Michelle Erb purchased a 72-acre tract of land in Conestoga, where they built their dream home. Their hope was…

  • May 23, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Judge Issues Bar Owners Temporary Restraining Order Against Mandan’s “Mural Police”

    Judge says Mandan's restrictions "unlikely to survive constitutional muster"

    Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to protect the mural of a North Dakota saloon, Lonesome Dove, from immediate removal. Lonesome Dove filed a lawsuit against the city on Monday after the city ordered the bar to either remove the mural by May 23 or suffer thousands in fines. In issuing…

  • May 23, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Chicago’s Anti-Competitive Food Truck Rules

    Ruling Means Fewer Options for Consumers and Fewer Opportunities for Food Industry Entrepreneurs

    Arlington, Va.—Today, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld two provisions of Chicago’s law that block food trucks from parking within 200 feet of restaurants and require they install GPS devices so city officials may track their every move. The Institute for Justice challenged these two provisions in 2012 on behalf of Laura Pekarik, owner of the…

  • May 21, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Savannah Judge Holds Tour-Guide License Unconstitutional

    Ruling vindicates Savannah guides in long-running free-speech battle

    Savannah, Ga.—Does the First Amendment allow cities to make it illegal to give tours to paying groups without first passing a special test and obtaining a license from the city? A federal court in Savannah today joined other federal judges in holding that it does not. Today’s ruling comes in Freenor v. Mayor and Aldermen…

  • May 21, 2019    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Business Owners Bring Free Speech Lawsuit Against “Mural Police”

    Lawsuit seeks to stop Mandan, North Dakota, from removing mural

    Last fall, August “Augie” Kersten, co-owner of the Lonesome Dove saloon in Mandan, North Dakota, decided to brighten up his building with a mural. Other businesses in town have murals, and Augie thought it would be just the thing to bring color and character to the otherwise drab and industrial area where his business faced…

  • May 9, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Plaintiff in Successful Lawsuit Against Fort Pierce’s Food Truck Law Open for Business This Friday

    Following a ruling by a judge, food truck owners are now able to serve customers in downtown Fort Pierce

    For the first time this Friday, Fort Pierce residents will be able to enjoy food truck food in downtown Fort Pierce. Just a few months ago, it was illegal for food trucks to operate within 500 feet of any establishment that sells food. That essentially blocked food trucks from doing business in Fort Pierce, since,…

  • May 8, 2019    |   Private Property

    Florida Man Could Lose His Home For Having Long Grass

    Lawsuit Challenges City of Dunedin’s Attempt to Foreclose on Homeowner Fined Nearly $30,000 for Having Long Grass

    St. Petersburg, Fla.—Yesterday, the city of Dunedin, Florida did something unthinkable: it authorized the foreclosure of someone’s home in order to collect fines the city assessed for having grass that was too long. And now, today, Jim Ficken, a 69-year old resident of Dunedin, is fighting back. He’s partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ),…

  • May 3, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Tallahassee, Fla.—Under a criminal-justice omnibus bill (HB 7125) passed by the Florida Legislature today, Florida may soon make it easier for people with criminal records to find work. Thanks to an amendment added by Sen. Jeff Brandes that is similar to his Fresh Start bill (SB 334), the omnibus bill addresses how occupational licensing blocks…

  • May 3, 2019    |   Economic Liberty

    Austin,Texas—The government lied to Patricia Mosley about how to properly appeal a decision barring her from working as a home health aide, and this morning the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the government’s actions violated her due process rights. Mosley is a nurse who was placed on an “Employee Misconduct Registry” maintained by the Texas…

Media Team

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