Scholarly Articles

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Scholarly Articles

Articles by IJ legal and policy experts

All Scholarly Articles

  • April 10, 2019    |    Scholarly Articles

    The increasing popularity of cottage foods in the United States requires that state laws regulating the industry be given careful consideration. However, little is known about cottage food producers or their businesses. This article discusses results from the first comprehensive survey of cottage food producers in the United States. Linear and logistic regression analyses of…

  • September 7, 2017    |    Scholarly Articles

    In this article, Nat Malkus and Tim Keller outline the federal laws that protect students with disabilities, give an overview of school choice programs, and explain how participating in school choice programs affects the rights of students with disabilities. They summarize arguments against students with disabilities participating in school choice programs and offer counterarguments and…

  • September 30, 2016    |    Scholarly Articles


    A Hierarchy of Regulatory Options

    Momentum is growing in favor of reining in excessive occupational licensing. However, policymaking in this arena is too often plagued by assumptions that the only regulatory options are no licensing or full licensing. Such binary thinking sees policymakers swayed by specious claims that licensing is necessary to protect public health and safety or to promote…

  • March 16, 2015    |    Scholarly Articles

    In May 2013, newspaper columnist John Rosemond received a cease-and-desist letter from the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology informing him that his syndicated column — in which he answers readers’ questions about parenting — constitutes the unlicensed and, hence, criminal practice of psychology. Although the Board concedes that Rosemond may publish general advice about…

  • February 1, 2015    |    Scholarly Articles

    Regulating work

    Measuring the scope and burden of occupational licensure among low- and moderate-income occupations in the United States

    This study examines the scope and burden of occupational licensing laws in the United States for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations. Findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring workers, on average, $US209 in fees, one exam, and about nine months of education and training, plus minimum grade and age levels. Data also indicate…

  • January 1, 2015    |    Scholarly Articles

    When legal is not ethical

    The case of civil forfeiture

  • January 1, 2014    |    Scholarly Articles

    One of the significant challenges facing licensing professionals is striking the most effective, efficient and just balance between regulation of occupations and preserving occupational practice free from unnecessary government restrictions. As discussed in greater detail below, there are at least two reasons—legal and economic—why finding such a balance is important. The first—legal—grows out of the…

  • March 6, 2010    |    Scholarly Articles

    The Florida Supreme Court vs. School Choice

    A "Uniformly" Horrid Decision

    School choice is the civil rights issue of the twenty-first century. In the Information Age, knowledge is not just power—it is destiny. As a result, no issue more fundamentally divides the “haves” and the “have-nots” in America than who gets to choose what schools their children attend and who does not. Around the country, hundreds…

  • March 1, 2010    |    Scholarly Articles

    President Obama’s domestic policies have generated opposition among many in the general public and mobilized previously uninvolved citizens. This opposition has manifested itself in public rallies, “tea party” protests, and spirited feedback at town hall meetings. Supporters of the president’s policies have accused those participating of being part of a larger, organized conspiracy or, at…

  • January 26, 2010    |    Scholarly Articles

    Getting Beyond Guns

    Context for Coming Debate over Privileges or Immunities

    The Fourteenth Amendment represents a deliberate decision by the people of this nation to make the U.S. Constitution—not state constitutions and not state officials— the primary guardian of liberty in America. The purpose of the amendment was to secure the basic civil rights of all citizens, regardless of race, and to give federal judges both…

  • January 1, 2010    |    Scholarly Articles

    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the States

    Ambiguity, False Modesty and (Maybe) Another Win for Originalism

    District of Columbia v. Heller was an easy case to get right. First, there was the text of the Second Amendment, which plainly states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Second, there was history, much of it created by citizen‐soldiers who had just won their independence…

  • December 14, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    In 2009, the Journal of School Choice presented a special issue on school choice and the law, guest edited by Institute for Justice Director of Strategic Research Dick Carpenter. In this introduction, Carpenter explains that much of the legal battleground over the constitutionality of school choice programs has shifted to interpretations of state constitutions, and…

  • December 14, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    This commentary addresses the Arizona Supreme Court’s legal reasoning in Cain v. Horne, which struck down two voucher programs for special needs children pursuant to one of Arizona’s Blaine Amendments and explains that the court both failed to apply a straightforward textual analysis and ignored the analytical framework its prior precedents had properly established. The…

  • December 14, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Zelman v. SimmonsHarris, only state religion clauses represent a potential constitutional bar to the inclusion of religious options in properly designed school choice programs. The two most significant are compelled support clauses and Blaine Amendments. Both are frequently misinterpreted by state courts as applied to school choice when…

  • November 1, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    Attack Ballot Issue Disclosure Root and Branch

    Comment on A Cold Breeze in California: ProtectMarriage Reveals the Chilling Effect of Campaign Finance Disclosure on Ballot Measure Issue Advocacy

    For years, the lower federal and many state courts have given short shrift to the First Amendment rights of those who wish to contribute money to groups that advocate the passage or defeat of ballot measures. Twenty-four states allow legislation to be passed in this manner, and in every one, the law requires groups advocating…

  • February 1, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    The right to free speech, including the right to speak out about who should be elected to public office, is a fundamental American right, essential to democratic debate. So, too, is the right of individuals to band together and pool their resources to make their advocacy more eff ective. Th e Founders recognized this, and…

  • February 1, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    In a “clean elections” system, taxpayer funded candidates must agree to limit their campaign spending. Imposing limits on campaign spending for candidates who forego taxpayer dollars and instead run traditional campaigns would be unconstitutional. Most clean elections schemes thus rely on “matching,” “rescue,” or “trigger” funds to level the playing fi eld between publicly funded…

  • December 1, 2006    |    Scholarly Articles

    One Test, Two Standards

    The On-and-Off Role of "Plausibility" in Rational Basis Review

    Most of us have a drawer or a closest in our home where we put things that are not important enough to have their own place but are not quite worthless enough to throw away either. That is what the rational basis test is for the Supreme Court – junk drawer for disfavored constitutional rights…

  • June 1, 2005    |    Scholarly Articles

    No Such Thing

    Litigating Under the Rational Basis Test

    The original legal definition of insanity is the inability to tell right from wrong.1 So it is the first irony of the “rational” basis test that it is, according to that definition, insane. The word “basis” is likewise a misnomer, since the rational basis test is concerned not with the actual basis for challenged legislation,…

  • August 21, 2003    |    Scholarly Articles

    The Past Should Not Shackle the Present

    The Revival of a Legacy of Religious Bigotry by Opponents of School Choice

    In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court ruled that school voucher programs in which parents choose which schools, including religiously affiliated schools, their children attend do not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The consequences of Zelman were dramatic: First, the hundreds of children enrolled in Cleveland’s school choice program were spared a return to…

  • July 17, 2003    |    Scholarly Articles

    Interest group politics is a problem that has plagued American government since the nation was founded. The Constitution itself was drafted and adopted in large part because of the intractable problems that interest group politics, or the problem of “faction” as James Madison described it, posed for the states under the Articles of Confederation.2 “Complaints…

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