Legal and Policy Studies

Educational Choice

12 Myths and Realities About Private Educational Choice Programs

Educational choice programs—defined broadly as programs that provide parents with financial aid to help their children opt out of the traditional public school system—are a hallmark of meaningful educational reform. Yet despite widespread news coverage…

Conning the Competition

A Certificate Of Need (CON) is a government-mandated permission slip to start or expand a business. Think of a CON like an expensive admission ticket to access an exclusive club. You can be sure that…

Educational Choice

A Guide to Designing Educational Choice Programs

Over the course of the last few decades, the law has gradually changed to recognize the constitutionality of educational choice programs and that its beneficiaries are students, not schools. The most recent development is Espinoza…

Expropriation in Puerto Rico

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Expropriation in Puerto Rico

In a new report (released August 6), the Institute for Justice (IJ) gives Puerto Rico’s eminent domain laws a grade of “F.” IJ is a nonprofit, civil liberties law firm dedicated to ending eminent domain…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

The Inverted Pyramid

When it comes to occupational regulation, policymakers may see their options as action or inaction: licensing or no licensing. In fact, policymakers can choose from a plethora of alternatives that provide the purported benefits of…

Educational Choice

12 Myths and Realities about Private Educational Choice Programs

Educational choice programs—defined broadly as programs that provide parents financial aid to opt their children out of the traditional public school system—have been a topic of significant public discussion and debate in recent months. Despite…

Economic Liberty

Opportunity Lost

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says his “administration is committed to creating the conditions and opportunities that will allow this industry [food trucks] to thrive, create jobs and support a vibrant food culture across…

Enforcing the Constitution

Enforcing the Constitution

The Constitution was written to limit government power, but those limits are meaningless unless judges restrain public officials when they overstep their bounds. Judicial engagement is a cutting-edge approach to judicial review that…

Open for Business

Economic Liberty

Open for Business

Throughout the nation, cities and counties are looking for ways to promote economic liberty and improve the well-being of their residents But all too often this desire to improve economic conditions manifests itself in expensive…

Enforcing the Constitution

Enforcing the Constitution

The Constitution was written to limit government power, but those limits are meaningless unless judges restrain public officials when they overstep their bounds. Judicial engagement is a cutting-edge approach to judicial review that…

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

Boards Behaving Badly

In a nutshell, states should: Charge an independent “licensing ombudsman” with reviewing the actions of state licensing boards; Charge the licensing ombudsman with a mandate to promote economic competition; Make the ombudsman responsible for conducting…

Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide

Cosmetology | Economic Liberty | Food Freedom | Hair Braiding | Occupational Licensing | Transportation | Vending

Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide

You have the right to earn an honest living. This is called “economic liberty” and it is protected by the U.S. Constitution. But often, entrepreneurs face burdensome, arbitrary and anti-competitive laws that make it difficult,…

Cosmetology | Economic Liberty | Hair Braiding | Occupational Licensing

Untangling Regulations

Natural hair braiding is a beauty practice popular among many African, African-American and immigrant communities in the United States. But braiders in many states have to endure hundreds of hours of unnecessary coursework and pay…

Florida’s Dirty Dozen

Economic Liberty

Florida’s Dirty Dozen

Florida legislators can make Florida more business friendly by repealing 12 anticompetitive, senseless and arbitrary laws that hold back entrepreneurs.

Other

Terms of Engagement

The Constitution was designed to limit government power and protect individuals from the tyranny of majorities and interest-group politics. But those protections are meaningless without judges who are fully committed to enforcing them, and America’s…

Seven Myths and Realities about Food Trucks

Economic Liberty | Vending

Seven Myths and Realities about Food Trucks

Using facts and real-world examples, IJ shows that there is no basis for the argument that restaurants need government intervention to “protect” them from food trucks.

Food-Truck Freedom

Economic Liberty | Vending

Food-Truck Freedom

In order to foster the conditions that will let food trucks thrive, this report offers recommendations based on the legislative best practices of Los Angeles and other cities.

Government Unchecked

Other

Government Unchecked

The past five decades have seen a relentless expansion in the size of government and a sharp increase in the num­ber of liberty-stifling laws and regulations at every level. Despite this explosion of political power,…

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Five Years After Kelo

On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision called Kelo v. City of New London,[1] ruled that private economic development is a public use under the Fifth Amendment…

Special Needs Vouchers Aid Children and Promote Excellence

Educational Choice

Special Needs Vouchers Aid Children and Promote Excellence

In the previous article, Dr. Corinne Harmon responds to my analysis of the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in Cain v. Horne (Keller, 2009) that struck down two voucher programs for students with special needs—one for…

Bulletproofing School Choice

Educational Choice

Bulletproofing School Choice

This paper brings together the hard-won lessons of IJ’s experiences to help advocates and lawmakers craft effective school choice legislation likely to withstand a legal challenge.

Little Pink House

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Little Pink House

Before there were Tea Parties, there was Kelo. Susette Kelo’s name turned into a movement. Her loss of her property was the final straw for Americans in 2005. When they heard about the Kelo decision,…

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

New York is perhaps the worst state in the nation when it comes to eminent domain abuse. Government jurisdictions and agencies statewide have condemned or threatened to condemn homes and small businesses for the New…

They Want to Erase Us Out

Eminent Domain | Private Property

They Want to Erase Us Out

This report documents how homes, farms and small businesses across Texas have been threatened by eminent domain for private gain.

Other

The Dirty Dozen

Ever wonder how our nation changed from a country with a Constitution that limited government power to a land where the Constitution is interpreted to limit the rights of the citizenry? And what can be…

California Scheming

Eminent Domain | Private Property

California Scheming

The report summarizes the legal history and areas of contention behind eminent domain for private development in California.

50 State Report Card

Eminent Domain | Private Property

50 State Report Card

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s now-infamous decision in Kelo v. New London, 44 states have passed new laws aimed at curbing the abuse of eminent domain for private use.

Dreher and Echeverria

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Dreher and Echeverria

In the fight to protect home and small business owners from the government’s abuse of eminent domain, it was only a matter of time until the apologists of the practice—taking property from one private individual…

A False Sense of Security

Eminent Domain | Private Property

A False Sense of Security

Washington state law is rife with opportunities for eminent domain abuse.

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Opening the Floodgates

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court case, Kelo v. New London, local governments threatened eminent domain or condemned at least 5,783 homes, businesses, churches and other properties so that they could be transferred to…