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Press Releases

  • July 8, 2004    |   First Amendment

    Phoenix, AZ—U.S. District Court Judge Earl Carroll today declined to issue an injunction against the onerous reporting and matching funds provisions of Arizona’s public financing scheme, the so-called Clean Elections Act. Judge Carroll’s order is not a final decision on the merits of the case. “While disappointed that the District Court is allowing the public…

  • June 28, 2004    |   Educational Choice

    Washington, D.C. –In a narrow ruling issued this morning, the Colorado Supreme Court halted the state’s groundbreaking school choice program, striking it down under the “local control” provision of the Colorado Constitution. The Court in a sharply divided 4-3 decision determined that since the Opportunity Contract program was to be funded in part with local…

  • June 24, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Advertising Ban Is Sign of Big Government

    Washington’s City of Lynnwood Bans Signs for Businesses But Not for Politicians

    Seattle, WA—Imagine a world where only politicians and those with political influence may advertise. You don’t need to; you have Lynnwood, Wash. Under Lynnwood’s scheme, small businesses cannot display portable signs more than eight feet away from their property, but portable signs for the politically powerful residential real estate market and for politicians are permitted…

  • June 15, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Seattle, WA—Blazing Bagels owner Dennis Ballen and the Institute for Justice Washington Chapter (IJ-WA) won an important First Amendment victory today when a federal court ruled that the City of Redmond’s ban on portable signs containing certain commercial messages, such as those about bagels, is unconstitutional. The Redmond ban permitted portable signs containing information about…

  • June 14, 2004    |   Private Property

    Washington, D.C.—Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Beth A. Myers today ruled the City of Norwood, Ohio, abused its discretion in finding the Edwards Road neighborhood “blighted,” but went on to find that the area could be called “deteriorating.” Thus the judge ruled that the City was justified in using eminent domain to take…

  • May 25, 2004    |   Educational Choice

    Colorado Supreme Court to Decide Future of School Choice Program

    Court to Hear Appeal of Decision Striking Down Opportunity Contracts, Poised to Become Nation’s Largest Voucher Program

    Washington, D.C.–The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a case that will decide the educational fates of thousands of low-income Colorado families who wish to use the state’s Opportunity Contract program. Poised to become the nation’s largest voucher program, Opportunity Contracts would allow families currently attending substandard public schools to choose quality…

  • May 24, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.–The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to consider the Institute for Justice’s case Swedenburg v. Kelly, in which the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld New York State’s protectionist ban on direct interstate wine shipments to consumers. The one question the court will consider: Does a state’s regulatory scheme that permits in-state wineries…

  • April 28, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C—This Mother’s Day—the most popular holiday of the year for flower sales—Shamille Peters and dozens of other individuals like her from across Louisiana will be buying flowers when they would much rather be selling them. Louisiana (alone among the 50 states) has barred Peters and others from pursuing a career as a florist unless…

  • April 28, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Tempe, Ariz.—Christian Alf, the teenage entrepreneur who dominated local headlines after being put out of business by the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission, will resume his after-school enterprise rat-proofing roofs in Tempe. In a letter responding to the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter’s threat of legal action, the Pest Control Commission’s executive director, Lisa Gervase,…

  • April 22, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Phoenix, Ariz.—The Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter yesterday voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit challenging the application of Arizona’s outdated occupational licensing laws to natural hairbraiders in light of the chief executive’s signature on Senate Bill 1159, which completely exempts natural hairbraiders from Arizona’s cosmetology regime. “With a stroke of the executive pen, it is clear that…

  • April 5, 2004    |   Private Property

    Ohio Trial To Examine Eminent Domain Abuse

    Developer Twists Government Power for His Private Gain

    Washington, D.C.— A trial to begin next week in Cincinnati, Ohio, will determine whether the government can take homes and businesses only to hand the property to a wealthy, politically connected developer for his private use. The Institute for Justice, which is defending the property owners for free, calls this one of the worst abuses…

  • March 31, 2004    |   Private Property

    Washington, D.C.-The New Jersey Appellate Court today will hear a case that will decide whether the state’s civil forfeiture law dangerously transforms law enforcement priorities away from fair and impartial administration of justice and instead toward the pursuit of property and profit. The case before the three-judge panel of the Appellate Division examines whether New…

  • March 29, 2004    |   Private Property

    Washington, D.C.—Home and small business owners in New London, Conn., today filed papers asking the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its 4-3 decision in Kelo v. New London, which allowed a city government and private development corporation to seize their property through eminent domain for the benefit of private parties. “The majority opinion, despite its…

  • March 19, 2004    |   Private Property

    Washington, D.C.—The Institute for Justice, which represents 17 home and business owners in Lakewood, Ohio’s West End who successfully fought to save their homes and businesses from eminent domain abuse, has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against the City. On March 19, the parties received notice that Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula of the Cuyahoga County…

  • March 19, 2004    |   First Amendment

    Victory for Free Speech:

    Michigan Appeals Court Sides With Think Tank, Rejects Teachers’ Union’s Lawsuit

    Washington, D.C.—The Michigan Court of Appeals today threw out a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Education Association that attempted to punish the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank that accurately quoted the union’s president in a fundraising letter. The Court stated that discussion on matters of public interest, such as school choice,…

  • March 11, 2004    |   Educational Choice

    Washington, D.C. –After its clients withdrew their children from religious schools to transfer them to public schools—a decision unrelated to its litigation—the Institute for Justice today terminated its lawsuit seeking broader school choice in Vermont. Vermont currently allows “tuitioning” in any town that does not operate a public high school, giving residents the right to…

  • March 11, 2004    |   Educational Choice

    Washington, D.C. –After its clients withdrew their children from religious schools to transfer them to public schools—a decision unrelated to its litigation—the Institute for Justice today terminated its lawsuit seeking broader school choice in Vermont. Vermont currently allows “tuitioning” in any town that does not operate a public high school, giving residents the right to…

  • March 9, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.—Today the Mississippi Senate voted to let African hairbraiders get to work and to set them free from the unnecessary and irrelevant cosmetology regulations that had kept them from legally practicing their craft. With only two dissenting votes, the Senate passed legislation reauthorizing the Board of Cosmetology—along with an amendment exempting braiders from the…

  • March 9, 2004    |   Educational Choice

    Washington, D.C. –The Institute for Justice and the State of Colorado today filed opening briefs with the Colorado Supreme Court urging the Court to overturn Judge Joseph E. Meyer III’s decision striking down Colorado’s Opportunity Contract program. The Court granted an expedited review of the case. Opponents of school choice have until April 5 to…

  • March 8, 2004    |   Economic Liberty

    IJ Appeals N.Y. Wine Case To U.S. Supreme Court

    Case Involves Direct Shipping of Wine To Consumers

    Washington, D.C.–The Institute for Justice today filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review a recent 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a ban on direct interstate shipment of wine to consumers in the nation’s second-biggest wine market. The case raises issues of Internet commerce, free trade among…


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