Anya Bidwell is an attorney with the Institute for Justice and IJ’s current Elfie Gallun Fellow in Liberty and the Constitution. She operates out of IJ’s Texas office, where she works to promote judicial engagement and protect economic, free speech, and property rights.
In 2019, Anya helped secure a victory in the United States Supreme Court, where the Justices, in a 7-2 decision, found that states cannot engage in protectionism by imposing durational residency requirements on newly arrived residents, even in the context of the Twenty-First Amendment. She also litigates civil forfeiture cases, including a class action in the Fifth Circuit battling the Customs and Border Protection and its abusive practice of taking people’s property without charging them with a crime.
Before joining IJ, Anya was a litigation attorney with a top national law firm, handling cases in trial and appellate courts. She earned her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas, where she worked as a student attorney at the United States Supreme Court Clinic. Two years prior to entering law school, Anya received a Master’s degree in Global Policy Studies, also from the University of Texas, and wrote a thesis on asymmetric warfare.
Anya grew up in the Former Soviet Union. She came to America at 16, on a university scholarship. Her upbringing motivated her to study law and become an advocate for a strong, independent judiciary.
Anya is an op-ed contributor to the Texas Tribune and has written for numerous other publications, including the Wall Street Journal. She is also the host of live recordings of our Short Circuit podcast, which take place on student campuses across the country.