Jaimie Cavanaugh is an attorney with the Institute for Justice. Her practice focuses on economic liberty and private property. As part of IJ’s legislative team, Jaimie works to expand access to healthcare by ending certificate of need laws. As part of this work, in 2020, she authored the Report, Conning the Competition. She also works to stop the overuse of fines and fees that can trap people, especially the poor, in the criminal justice system.

As a litigator, her work has led to the recognition of the right to economic liberty by the Georgia Supreme Court and ended New Jersey’s ban on selling homemade baked goods. In Minnesota, she secured a victory for winemakers who wanted to use ingredients from other states and eased continuing legal education requirements for attorneys.

Her views have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Bloomberg and many other media outlets.

Growing up outside Detroit, Jaimie learned that individuals, not the government, know what is best for themselves and their families. Jaimie studied Linguistics and German at the University of Michigan and earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado. Following law school, she completed a judicial fellowship with Justice Monica M. Márquez of the Colorado Supreme Court and interned for Exxon Mobil in Hanover, Germany.

Jaimie's Cases

First Amendment

Government Gag Orders

Government officials cannot be allowed to use the threat of overwhelming penalties and costly litigation to coerce people into forfeiting their First Amendment rights to speak freely. That is why the Cato Institute has joined…

Lactation, Laws, Mothers, Consultants, Babies

Economic Liberty | Health | Occupational Licensing

Georgia Lactation Consultants

For decades, Mary Jackson has worked as a lactation consultant, helping new moms and babies during a critical time in their lives. Then one day, Georgia passed the nation’s most restrictive licensing regime for lactation…

Economic Liberty | Food Freedom | Wine

Minnesota Farm Wineries Fight for Free Trade

A little-known but onerous state law prevented Minnesota vineyards from making a majority of their wine from grapes grown outside Minnesota. IJ partnered with two vineyards to fight this law, and eventually a federal district…

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Jaimie's Research & Reports

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…

Jaimie's Amicus Briefs

Jaimie's News, Articles & Publications

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