Arif Panju serves as a managing attorney with the Institute for Justice. He leads IJ’s Texas office and litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting property rights, economic liberty, free speech, and educational choice.
Arif’s work has resulted in court victories in both federal and state courts. He vindicated the free speech rights of tour guides in Billups v. City of Charleston and the economic liberty rights of Texas hair braiding schools in Brantley v. Kuntz. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Arif was co-counsel in Carson v. Makin and helped put an end to the exclusion of religious educational options from school choice programs nationwide. In the Texas Supreme Court, Arif helped secure a landmark victory on behalf of eyebrow threaders in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, establishing a new test for judging the constitutionality of economic restrictions statewide. His current cases focus on defending property rights from civil forfeiture abuse in Texas and eminent domain abuse in New York, protecting economic liberty, and defending Tennessee’s educational choice program.
Arif’s work at IJ has been featured by dozens of outlets including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Texas Tribune. His views on legal issues have been published in several outlets ranging from USA Today to the Dallas Morning News. Arif is the current board president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
Arif graduated law school with honors from Southern Methodist University. During law school he clerked on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Arif lives in Austin.
Harris County, Texas, has an unconstitutional financial incentive for law enforcement to seize property and cash excessively without probable cause, often sweeping up innocent people in the process. Ameal Woods and Jordan Davis are two…
The Brinkmann family owns hardware stores in Long Island and purchased property with the hope of opening a new store. The town now wants to take the land through eminent domain, simply because they don’t…
In 2019, Tennessee enacted an Education Savings Account that helped thousands of low-and-middle-income students receive a quality education. A year later, the mayor of Nashville announced a lawsuit attacking the program. A group of Tennessee…
South Padre Island caps the number of food trucks in town at 12 and requires that all food trucks have a restaurant owner’s sign off on their permit applications. The Texas Constitution prevents the government…
Video Interview with Attorney and Parent Supreme Court Decision School Choice Myths & Realities…
How Louisville Helps Restaurants Shut Down Their Food-Truck Competition, and How IJ Is Going to Stop It.
City Council members in Louisville worked closely with established brick-and-mortar restaurants to keep out food truck competition. IJ secured a federal court order barring the city from discriminating against food trucks and then successfully worked…
Beer Bounty: Texas Craft Brewers Sue Over New Law That Requires Them to Give Part of Their Businesses to Distributors for Free
A Texas law is forcing craft brewers to give up millions of dollars of valuable property to politically connected beer distributors.
Alabama has created a unique, refundable tax credit program that offers a lifeline to families to help them escape failing public schools if they lack the financial resources to do so.
Should African hair braiders have to build an entire barber college and become barbering instructors just to teach hair braiding? Texas officials think so.
Texas tried to force natural hair braiding schools to convert into fully-equipped barber colleges—solely to teach hair braiding—even though braiders aren’t barbers.
Alabama’s prohibition on non-dentist teeth whitening has nothing to do with protecting consumers and everything to do with protecting monopoly profits for dentists.
Eyebrow threading is a booming industry in Texas. But state bureaucrats are making it difficult for individuals to continue practicing this ancient art.
Arif's Amicus Briefs
Texas Department of Insurance and Cassie Brown v. Stonewater Roofing, Ltd. Co.
Supreme Court of Texas
Marfil v. City of New Braunfels
5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Violet Dock Port v. Heaphy
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Morello v. Seaway Crude Pipeline
Supreme Court of Texas
KMS Retail v. Rowlett
Texas Supreme Court