Ari Bargil is a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. He joined IJ’s Miami Office in September of 2012, and litigates constitutional cases protecting economic liberty, property rights, school choice, and free speech in both federal and state courts.
In 2019, Ari successfully defended two of Florida’s most popular school choice programs, the McKay Program for Students with Disabilities and the Florida Tax Credit Program, before the Florida Supreme Court. As a direct result of the victory, over 120,000 students in Florida have access to scholarships that empower them to attend the schools of their choice.
Ari frequently represents property owners battling aggressive zoning regulations and excessive fines in state and federal court nationwide. He has represented a small-business owner in Dallas, Texas, and a married couple in Wilmington, North Carolina, in challenges to highly controversial “amortization” ordinances—laws that unconstitutionally seek to eradicate already-existing legal land uses. Ari has also litigated in state and federal court challenging the constitutionality of catastrophic fines for trivial code-enforcement violations.
Ari also litigates on behalf of entrepreneurs in cutting-edge First Amendment cases. He was co-counsel in several federal appeals court cases challenging restrictions on occupational speech, including on behalf of a Florida dairy creamery who wanted to share truthful information on its labels and a holistic health coach who wanted to share advice about nutrition with her clients. In 2017, Ari was honored by the Daily Business Review as one of South Florida’s “Most Effective Lawyers.”
In addition to litigation, Ari regularly testifies before state and local legislative bodies and committees on issues ranging from occupational licensing to property rights regulation. Ari has also spearheaded several successful legislative campaigns in Florida, including the effort to legalize the sale of 64-ounce “growlers” by craft breweries and the Florida Legislature’s passage of the Right to Garden Act—a reform which made it unlawful for local governments to ban residential vegetable gardens throughout the state.
Ari’s work has been featured by USA Today, NPR, Fox News, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News and other national and local publications.
A native Floridian, Ari attended The Florida State University College of Law, where he was a member of the law school’s Business Review and worked as a Research Assistant with The James Madison Institute, Florida’s premier free market think tank. Ari received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 2006.
Owner of medical cannabis dispensary files federal lawsuit challenging Mississippi's ban on truthful advertising
If it’s legal to sell a product, it’s also legal to talk about that product. But not in Mississippi—at least not if the product is medical marijuana. In 2022 Mississippi joined the growing number of…
Federal Government Seeks to Impose Multimillion Dollar Excessive Fine on Grandmother, Claiming a Fine is a “Civil Penalty.”
An Boston-area grandmother is fighting to have courts consider whether the multimillion-dollar penalty the government imposed on is unconstitutionally excessive.
In true dystopian fashion, Pasco County in Florida, harasses people at their own homes through a method called “predictive policing.” The system tramples on the rights of Pasco residents by placing them under near-constant surveillance.
Sandy Martinez received more than $100,000 in fines for how she parked on her own driveway. This excessive fine not only threatens to financially cripple Sandy, it’s also unconstitutional and is the reason she has…
North Carolina Parents Join Forces To Defend The State’s Opportunity Scholarship Program (“OSP”) From Yet Another Legal Attack
North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program is the most popular school choice program in the state and offers a quality education for more than 12,000 students. Now, a coalition of parents has joined forces with IJ…
Nobody should lose their home because their grass is too long, but that’s exactly what the city of Dunedin is trying to do to Jim Ficken. Jim and IJ are fighting back against these excessive…
Florida requires a license in order to provide dietary advice to a customer. Diet advice is simply a type of speech that should be protected by the First Amendment, and that’s why Heather Kokesch Del…
Ocheesee Creamery is censored from honestly labeling its skim milk as skim milk.
An Affront To Gardeners Everywhere: Miami Shores Forces Homeowners To Destroy Their Front-Yard Vegetable Garden
Miami Shores Village, Fla.’s unconstitutional ban on front-yard vegetable gardens prohibits homeowners from growing vegetables in their front yards. But trees, fruit and garden gnomes are just fine.
Hillsborough County Transportation Commission vs. Consumers, a Driver and a Small Business: Government Commission Forces Consumers to Pay More; Prevents Competition and Job Creation
The Public Transportation Commission in Hillsborough County, Fla., forces customers to overpay for limousine services and prevents small business owners from offering better deals to potential customers.
IJ successfully challenged the IRS’s authority to license tax return preparers. If the licensing scheme had not been struck down, some 350,000 tax return preparers would have been burdened by the new regulations, much to…