Robert McNamara

Deputy Litigation Director

Memberships

The Virginia Bar

Robert McNamara serves as the Institute for Justice’s Deputy Litigation Director. He helps guide IJ’s overall litigation strategy while also litigating cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting free speech, property rights, economic liberty, and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts.

Robert’s work has resulted in court victories for property owners fighting eminent domain abuse, tour guides fighting unconstitutional restrictions on their speech, taxi drivers seeking the right to own their own business, cancer patients seeking the right to pay bone-marrow donors, and many others.  His current cases focus on defending private property rights, innovation in medical care and telemedicine, and the First Amendment right of all Americans to provide their opinions on important topics like engineering or the law without first obtaining a government license.

Robert’s writing has been published by outlets including The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and dozens more nationwide.  His opinions and views on legal issues have been featured in radio and television programs ranging from National Public Radio’s All Things Considered to CBS Sunday Morning.

Robert is a graduate of Boston University and the New York University School of Law. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and children.

Robert's Cases

Private Property

DeVillier v. Texas

Supreme Court Argument DeVillier v. Texas was argued at the United States Supreme Court on January 16th, 2024. Question Presented to the Court: May a person whose property is taken without compensation seek redress under…

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…

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Robert's Research & Reports

Unaccountable

Immunity and Accountability

Unaccountable

The largest ever study of qualified immunity cases, Unaccountable finds the doctrine shields a wider array of officials and conduct than commonly thought while unacceptably burdening victims of government abuse and failing at its goals.

Expropriation in Puerto Rico

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Expropriation in Puerto Rico

In a new report (released August 6), the Institute for Justice (IJ) gives Puerto Rico’s eminent domain laws a grade of “F.” IJ is a nonprofit, civil liberties law firm dedicated to ending eminent domain…

No Brotherly Love for Entrepreneurs

Economic Liberty

No Brotherly Love for Entrepreneurs

At nearly every level, Philadelphia’s city government and related bureaucracies operate with a one-word vocabulary: Whatever the question is, the answer is “No.” From zoning to permitting to occupational licensing, would-be entrepreneurs hear that answer…

Other

Getting Beyond Guns

The Fourteenth Amendment represents a deliberate decision by the people of this nation to make the U.S. Constitution—not state constitutions and not state officials— the primary guardian of liberty in America. The purpose of the…

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

New York is perhaps the worst state in the nation when it comes to eminent domain abuse. Government jurisdictions and agencies statewide have condemned or threatened to condemn homes and small businesses for the New…

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Robert's Amicus Briefs

Violet Dock Port v. Heaphy

Violet Dock Port v. Heaphy

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Welch v. Brown

Welch v. Brown

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

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Robert's News, Articles & Publications

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