Jeffrey Redfern litigates constitutional cases protecting property rights and free speech.
Jeffrey was the lead attorney in Baker v. City of McKinney, a case in which, for the first time in history, a federal court ruled that an innocent homeowner was entitled to compensation when her house was destroyed by a SWAT raid. The court explained that even though the police acted lawfully in trying to apprehend a dangerous fugitive who had barricaded himself inside an innocent person’s house, “it cannot be the case that public good could be done at the cost of the individual.”
Jeffrey litigates cases around the country challenging eminent domain abuse, where the government tries to take private property and give it to other private parties. He also litigates cases to ensure that when government does take property, it pays just compensation. He files amicus briefs on eminent domain issues in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has testified in support of eminent domain reforms before Congress.
In his free speech practice, Jeffrey has fought for the First Amendment rights of book publishers and talk therapists to be free of government regulation targeted at the content of their speech.
In 2019, Jeffrey successfully represented the owners of a small liquor store before the U.S. Supreme Court in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas. The Court held that states cannot engage in protectionism by imposing durational residency requirements on newly arrived residents, even in the context of the Twenty-First Amendment.
Before joining IJ, Jeffrey was a member of the appellate group at Mayer Brown LLP, where he authored briefs on various constitutional issues in the U.S. Supreme Court and in lower federal and state courts. He has argued cases before the First, Second, Fifth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits, as well as the Colorado Supreme Court. Jeffrey clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he learned to loathe acronyms.
Jeffrey earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2012. Between his first and second years of law school, he clerked at IJ’s Minnesota office. That experience inspired him to file his own pro se constitutional lawsuit against the government while still in school. (After over two years of litigation, the government finally provided the relief he requested.)
Before law school, Jeffrey taught AP English at a prep school in Southern California. He earned his MA in humanities from the University of Chicago in 2006 and his BA in English, magna cum laude, from Carleton College in 2005. He is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and the Historical Society of the D.C. Circuit.
In his free time, Jeffrey is a competitive distance runner. He won the 2018 Baltimore Marathon, and he has a personal best of 2 hours and 28 minutes.
Who pays when the government destroys private property for a public purpose, such as getting a fugitive off the streets? The answer should be clear: if the government breaks it, the government buys it. That’s…
For thirty years, Carlos Pena ran a print shop in North Hollywood. His world was turned upside down, however, in August 2022, when a fugitive forced his way into Carlos’s shop and barricaded himself inside…
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…
Virginia therapist launches a second First Amendment challenge to protect the right to practice talk therapy online across state lines
Elizabeth Brokamp uses talk therapy to help people improve their lives. When one of her clients relocated to New York she was able to continue speaking with the client online. She’s licensed in Virginia, where…
Police destroyed Vicki Baker’s home while pursuing a fugitive, costing her tens of thousands of dollars and leaving her daughter’s dog with hearing loss. The city refused to pay for the damage it caused. IJ…
Institute for Justice Asks U.S. Supreme Court to End Colorado Law Permitting Neighbors to Engage in Eminent Domain Abuse
Imagine if two of your neighbors got together, claimed they established a new town, and then “voted” to take your property from you using eminent domain. Crazy, right? Not in Colorado, where the owners of…
Ron Mugar successfully saved his home in court from being taken by the city in a process called a receivership. But the receiver nonetheless charged Ron over $60,000 for “obstructive tactics” just for defending himself.
Coast Guard-empowered private association concocts reasons to keep an experienced captain from working
Captain Matthew Hight thought he would earn a living navigating cargo carriers on the Great Lakes. Instead, an unholy alliance of a federal bureaucracy and a legalized monopoly suddenly rendered him a castaway. Now he’s…
Valancourt Books, in Richmond, Virginia, has partnered with IJ to challenge a federal law that requires book publishers to provide two free copies of every book it publishes or face fines that could total in…
The city of Indio charged Ramona Morales with thousands of dollars in attorney's fees for her own prosecution in a minor code enforcement issue. IJ stepped in to defend her against this unreasonable fee, and…
Pottstown, Pennsylvania has a rental inspection law that forces landlords and tenants to open their properties and homes to submit to intrusive inspections. On behalf of multiple tenants and a landlord, IJ is challenging this…
Eminent Domain in Disguise: Putting an End to Charlestown, Ind.’s Unconstitutional Home Inspection Scheme
A small-town mayor in rural Indiana has made it his personal mission to oust the residents of a tight-knit working-class neighborhood, bulldoze their homes and build a fancy new subdivision for much wealthier people. The…
Jeffrey's Amicus Briefs
Community Housing Improvement Program, et al. v. City of New York, et al.
United States Supreme Court
The Gym 24/7 Fitness, LLC v. State of Michigan
Michigan Supreme Court
Ariyan v. Sewerage & Water Board
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Cleveland Botanical Garden v. Wade
Ohio Supreme Court
CHIP et al. v. City of New York
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid
U.S. Supreme Court
Frey v. Jackson
10th 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
Carousel Farms v. Woodcrest Homes
Colorado Supreme Court
Sveen v. Melin
U.S. Supreme Court
KMS Retail v. Rowlett
Texas Supreme Court
Stinnie v. Holcomb
4th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kinder Morgan Utopia v. PDB Farms of Wood County
Court of Appeals of Ohio Sixth Appellate District Wood County