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Press Releases

  • April 26, 2003    |   First Amendment

    Right to Speak Freely Suffers Setback

    Arizona Superior Court Declines to Strike Down Mesa’s Arbitrary Sign Restrictions

    Mesa, AZ—Commercial free speech rights suffered a blow last week when the Maricopa County Superior Court refused to strike down Mesa’s arbitrary sign ordinance prohibiting Winchell’s Donut House franchisee Edward Salib from hanging advertisements for doughnuts and coffee in his shop windows. “We will immediately appeal this decision,” declared Court Rich, pro bono lead counsel…

  • April 24, 2003    |   Educational Choice

    Institute For Justice Dismisses Student Teacher Lawsuit

    Washington State Abandons Blaine Amendment Defense

    Washington, D.C.-The Institute for Justice this week dismissed its lawsuit against Attorney General Christine Gregoire and four state universities challenging discrimination against student teachers choosing religious schools, having accomplished as much as it could with its litigation. The lawsuit, filed last September on behalf of Carolyn Harrison, a student at the University of Washington, Tacoma,…

  • April 16, 2003    |   Educational Choice

    Institute for Justice Pledges to Defend Historic Colorado School Choice Program

    Governor Signs Nation’s First New Voucher Legislation Since U.S. Supreme Court Victory for Choice

    Washington, D.C. –The Institute for Justice today pledged to defend in court Colorado’s historic school choice program, the first new voucher program since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld choice in Cleveland last June. Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed legislation today establishing the nation’s second statewide choice program. “Colorado Supreme Court precedent is very favorable to…

  • April 15, 2003    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C. -For the last year and a half, officials from the City of New Orleans have told Josh Wexler and Anne Jordan Blanton that they could not sell books on the street. Today [April 15, 2003], U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. said otherwise. In a temporary restraining order, issued this afternoon…

  • April 8, 2003    |   Economic Liberty

    Booksellers File Federal Suit Challenging City of New Orleans’ Book Vending Ban

    Case Could Set Import Precedent For First Amendment & Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.—Vendors in New Orleans may sell razor blades on the street, but not books. That might change, however, if two would-be vendors are successful in a federal lawsuit they filed today with the help of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice. Josh Wexler and Anne Jordan Blanton love books and dream about starting their…

  • March 26, 2003    |   Private Property

    Tenants Win Battle to Stop Government Abuse

    Yuma Rewrites Rental Inspection Ordinance; Lawsuit Challenging Yuma Warrantless Searches Dismissed

    Yuma, Ariz.—Now that the City of Yuma has acquiesced to the demands of a lawsuit filed by tenants challenging the City’s rental inspection ordinance, a Yuma Superior Court judge accepted a stipulation to dismiss the suit. The challenged ordinance forced landlords to open up their rental property to government inspectors without the consent of or…

  • March 13, 2003    |   Economic Liberty

    IJ Wins Another Case For Entrepreneurs

    Institute Closes the Lid on Tennessee’s Casket Cartel

    Washington, D.C.—IJ has another economic liberty victory in the bank! The State of Tennessee has decided not to appeal the Institute for Justice’s 6th Circuit Court of Appeals victory on behalf of independent casket retailers. This makes its win in the federal appeals court on behalf of Pastor Nathaniel Craigmiles and the other casket sellers…

  • March 11, 2003    |   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…

  • January 9, 2003    |   First Amendment

    Washington, D.C.—In a case with national implications for free speech and campaign finance reform, the Institute for Justice today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, which forces discrete groups of citizens to subsidize politicians. The subsidy program, which was approved narrowly by Arizona voters in a 1998 initiative, provides funding…

  • January 8, 2003    |   First Amendment

    Small Business Fights for Right to Free Speech

    Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn City of Mesa’s Sign Ordinance And Protect Free Speech

    Phoenix, AZ—Winchell’s Donut House franchisee Edward Salib today filed a lawsuit seeking to vindicate his free speech rights, asking the court to declare as unconstitutional the City of Mesa sign ordinance that prevents Salib from advertising doughnuts and coffee in his shop windows. The case was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court by Court Rich,…

  • December 12, 2002    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.—A federal court in Oklahoma today bucked a trend of recent federal court decisions striking down government-imposed casket cartels.  Independent casket sellers are challenging an Oklahoma law that prohibits them from selling caskets to Oklahoma residents because they are not licensed funeral directors in Oklahoma, a prohibition that blocks competition and thereby enables funeral…

  • December 12, 2002    |   Private Property

    Washington, D.C.-New Jersey’s method of financing police and prosecutors through civil forfeiture is unconstitutional, Superior Court Judge G. Thomas Bowen of Salem County ruled in a December 11 opinion. Under New Jersey’s civil forfeiture law (N.J.S.A 2C:64-6a) prosecutors and police had been entitled to keep the money and property confiscated from individuals through the state’s…

  • December 10, 2002    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.-In a resounding victory for small wineries and wine consumers, the Honorable Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today issued an injunction prohibiting the State of New York from enforcing its ban on direct shipments of wine to consumers by out-of-state wineries. The judge wrote, “Defendants…

  • December 6, 2002    |   Economic Liberty

    Sixth Circuit Decision Puts Another Nail in Coffin Of State-Imposed Casket Monopolies

    IJ & Casket Entrepreneurs Score First Federal Appeals Court Victory For Economic Liberty Since New Deal

    Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit today issued a unanimous decision that the government cannot restrict individuals’ right to earn an honest living by imposing protectionist regulations. The decision upholds a lower court finding that Tennessee’s state-imposed casket monopoly unconstitutionally violates the right of independent casket retailers to earn…

  • December 2, 2002    |   Private Property

    To: The Fort Trumbull Homeowners in New London, Connecticut I would first like to say congratulations to the Fort Trumbull homeowners for persevering in your fight to hold on to your homes against eminent domain abuse. Your tenacity in this struggle is very impressive and a great example of ordinary Americans standing together against government…

  • November 18, 2002    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.—Do individuals have a right to earn an honest living in the profession of their choice, or is that merely a privilege that the government can grant or withhold as it sees fit? That is the question the Institute for Justice will seek to answer as it goes to trial in a lawsuit in…

  • November 18, 2002    |   Private Property

    Tenants Fight “Government Goldilocks”

    Lawsuit Challenges City of Yuma’s Warrantless Searches of Rental Homes; City Agrees to Reconsider Rental Ordinance

    Yuma, Ariz.—In the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” it was a little curly-headed girl who went nosing around a home that wasn’t hers. In Yuma, Ariz., government inspectors play the part of the uninvited intruder. Under an ordinance adopted earlier this year, the City of Yuma can force landlords to open up their rental…

  • November 12, 2002    |   Economic Liberty

    Washington, D.C.-A federal judge today declared New York state’s laws barring the interstate direct shipment of wine into New York unconstitutional. The Honorable Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled New York could not discriminate against out-of-state wineries who want to ship to in-state consumers. New York…

  • November 11, 2002    |   Private Property

    Law enforcement officers should not be engaged in bounty hunting. That is the commonsense idea at the center of a challenge to New Jersey’s civil forfeiture law, which dangerously transforms law enforcement priorities away from the fair and impartial administration of justice and toward the pursuit of property and profit. How? New Jersey prosecutors and…

  • October 11, 2002    |   First Amendment

    Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Coerced Funding of Political Speech

    Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter to Ask U.S. Supreme Court To Vindicate Arizonans’ First Amendment Rights

    Phoenix, AZ—Dealing a severe setback to the First Amendment rights of every Arizona citizen, the Arizona Supreme Court today reversed a unanimous decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals that struck down the compulsory funding mechanism of the state’s so-called Clean Elections Act as a violation of the freedom of speech. Any time an Arizona…


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