#farmlife #smallfarming #smallfarmlife #smallfarmer #minifarm #minifarmer #smalldairy #dairyfarmer #minifarmer #homestead #cow #cowsofYouTube #Farmanimals #homesteading #Oregon #OregonFarms[+] Show More
California Put an Anti-Spam Crusader Out of Business
Jay Fink, a pioneer in fighting email spam, has partnered with the ...
Jay Fink, a pioneer in fighting email spam, has partnered with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit challenging California’s overreaching and unconstitutional private investigator licensing requirements.
ay’s ...business was recently shut down by California regulators who argued he must endure 6,000 hours of irrelevant training and obtain a private-investigator license in order to legally help customers identify and index the junk email they receive.
Oregon wants to regulate small farms like large commercial dairies. ...
Oregon wants to regulate small farms like large commercial dairies. Why? Not because of real environmental concerns, but because large commercial dairies insist that small dairies somehow have a “competitive ...advantage” over big ones—that is, that they don’t have to install expensive infrastructure to manage waste.
But small dairies don’t need that infrastructure because the amount of waste generated can safely decompose in fields or be composted for other productive use. The state is wrapping small dairies in meaningless red tape just to please big dairies.
That is protectionist, irrational and, moreover, unconstitutional.
Sarah, and three other small farmers, are now teaming up with the Institute for Justice to file a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Agriculture and save small dairy farms in the Beaver State.[+] Show More
Raging Councilman Physically Destroys Innocent Business
Government officials are not allowed to pursue personal vendettas or ...
Government officials are not allowed to pursue personal vendettas or retaliate against people for criticizing their policies. But that is precisely what is happening in the town of Parksley on ...Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where out-of-control bureaucrats have done everything in their power to target and eliminate the town’s first—and only—food truck simply because they dislike its owners and the fact that they dared to work with the Institute for Justice to call for the repeal of the town’s unconstitutional food truck ban.
'Green Burials' Are Trendy but Face Surprising Opposition
Americans want more choice for one of the last and most important ...
Americans want more choice for one of the last and most important decisions they will ever make: where to be buried. Peter and Annica Quakenbush want to provide fellow Michiganders ...with more choice by opening the state’s first conservation burial ground—a type of green cemetery that preserves the land in its natural state.
But Brooks Township opposes the Quakenbushes and, to stop them, banned any new cemeteries. That drastic step violates the Michigan Constitution’s protections for property rights and economic liberty.
Green burial provides a simple and environmentally responsible way to care for the dead. Peter and Annica’s conservation burial ground will provide Michiganders a unique burial option where the deceased are integrated into the environment with minimal disruption to the native forest.
Peter, whose passion for nature led him to pursue a PhD in biology, realized ten years ago that green burial aligns with his and Annica’s personal philosophy of sustainability and closeness to nature. So, they decided to open a burial forest. And they found the perfect location last year in Brooks Township, Michigan. The property is high, dry, and covered in a native forest more than 100 years old—ideal for a burial forest and nature preserve.
The Quakenbushes then approached the township’s zoning administrator, who told them to develop a site plan and get a conservation easement. They followed the administrator’s instructions and took additional steps to ensure the cemetery would comply with green-cemetery certification requirements and state health and safety standards.
Peter and Annica were ready to move forward when the Township Board—spurred on by a small group of activists—passed the Cemetery Ordinance, a flat ban on any new cemeteries in the township. Despite strong support for the plan from a large portion of the community, the board passed the ordinance specifically to prevent the Quakenbushes from opening their cemetery. That’s unconstitutional.
The Michigan Constitution protects individuals’ rights to use private property and engage in any business that doesn’t harm the public. The ban infringes on exactly those rights, prohibiting the Quakenbushes from using their property for a legal and productive economic purpose. Caring for the dead is a fundamental and unavoidable human need. Operating a conservation burial ground is a safe, productive, and legitimate way to earn a living. That’s why Peter and Annica have teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a state lawsuit against the township and end this ban violating the Michigan Constitution.[+] Show More
This State Wants to Censor Your Ability to Give Advice
The First Amendment’s protection for free speech isn’t limited to ...
The First Amendment’s protection for free speech isn’t limited to political advocacy or expressions of personal opinion—it extends to speech on all topics. That includes expert advice that people earn ...a living providing, an area known as occupational speech.
For many Americans, this sort of expert advice is among the most valuable speech for helping people navigate the real problems they face in their day-to-day lives.
That’s why the North Carolina Justice for All Project and two of its members, Morag Black Polaski and Shawana Almendarez, have joined with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit to vindicate their right to provide both free and paid legal advice regarding court-created forms.
America is in the midst of an access-to-justice crisis. For many Americans facing routine legal issues—whether they relate to divorce, child custody, evictions, or any number of problems that make up the bulk of state courts’ civil dockets—hiring a lawyer to navigate these problems is simply unaffordable.
And this is not a problem limited to the poor.
It is also a problem for the “missing middle”—those who earn too much to qualify for free legal assistance from groups like Legal Aid, but not enough to afford a lawyer. The inevitable result is that many Americans must navigate the legal system on their own.[+] Show More
2024 Supreme Court Case You Need to Know About
The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed Americans’ right to just ...
The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed Americans’ right to just compensation is an inherent part of the Constitution. It cannot be ignored or circumvented by the government or the courts.
Texas Flooded Rancher's Land, Supreme Court To Hear Case in 2024
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Texas farmer ...
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Texas farmer who is seeking compensation from the state after the construction of a concrete barrier along a ...highway caused several devastating floods on his property.
The case presents a simple yet vital question of constitutional law: When the Constitution says government must pay “just compensation” when it takes private property, does it mean what it says?
SWAT Team Destroyed Innocent Family's Home, Refused to Pay for Repairs
Amy Hadley watched in horror as her home was raided by police and ...
Amy Hadley watched in horror as her home was raided by police and destroyed in South Bend, Indiana, in June 2022. Over a year later, her family is still traumatized ...and their home still bears the scars of the raid. And all of this happened because police were searching for a man who was never in their home and who had no connection to Amy’s family.
Noah Hadley, just 15 at the time, was the only one there when police surrounded his home and started calling for occupants to come out. He followed their instructions and told them he was the only one in the house. Officers cuffed Noah and took him away without letting him call his mom.
Amy arrived on the scene shortly after the officers took her son away. None of the officers believed Amy when she tried to explain that the officers had the wrong house. She watched from down the street as a SWAT team and other officers shattered windows with tear gas grenades, flooded the house with toxic fumes, upended furniture, tore down fixtures, punched holes in the walls, destroyed family photos and drawings, and rifled through the family’s belongings.
When the dust settled, the house was uninhabitable for days. Tear gas saturated everything, glass filled the beds, windows and walls were shattered and mangled. Amy and her family slept in her car. Amy tried to get answers and compensation from the government agencies. But they denied her requests. Her insurance company covered only part of the damage. She was left with thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to shoulder herself.
That’s both unfair and unconstitutional. When the government deliberately destroys an innocent owner’s property to serve a public interest—here, public safety—both the Indiana Constitution and the U.S. Constitution require the government to compensate the owner. The local governments in this case determined that the public benefit of trying to apprehend a fugitive outweighed the costs of damaging Amy’s property in the process. That was their decision to make, but they must pay for it.[+] Show More
City Schemes to Bulldoze Family Businesses
Many of the businesses that line Manchester Road in Brentwood, ...
Many of the businesses that line Manchester Road in Brentwood, Missouri have been serving the community for decades. But now, the city is threatening to use its eminent domain power ...to force these well-loved businesses to close shop so a private developer can make way for new businesses—all in the name of economic development.
The city claims the entire Manchester Corridor is “blighted,” a convenient label it can use to justify taking property by eminent domain. But these properties are not blighted in any sense of the term.
They are well maintained, and the businesses provide valuable services to customers in the St. Louis area. None of them have received warnings for the condition of their properties.
No business should lose its property just because the government wants to replace it with other, more favored businesses. The owners of a fly-fishing shop, a meal prep business, and a dance studio are now teaming up with the Institute for Justice to challenge the baseless blight designations and the proposed takings.[+] Show More
Grandmother's Arrest Sparks 1st Amendment Battle
Sylvia Gonzalez won an elected position in Castle Hills, Texas. But ...
Sylvia Gonzalez won an elected position in Castle Hills, Texas.
But when she voiced the concerns of her constituents, the mayor and police chief used bogus charges and a rarely-used law ...to have Gonzalez arrested, booked, and thrown in jail.
The Barber Shelter first opened its doors over 30 years ago, providing ...
The Barber Shelter first opened its doors over 30 years ago, providing overnight refuge to people who are temporarily homeless and have nowhere else to go. It is the only ...homeless shelter in Wilkes County and sleeps, on average, fewer than a dozen people per night.
In 2020, the Barber Shelter was looking for a new space when a local dentist generously offered his former office building as a location. The space was perfect: It was in an ideal part of town—near the services the shelter’s clients use, far from residential areas—and met each of the town’s zoning requirements. All it needed was a permit.
But the town was not interested in allowing the Barber Shelter to care for the area’s neediest. Instead, it invented bogus reasons to deny the shelter its permit, such as concerns about the shelter’s clients walking on the sidewalk near a busy road. But that is nonsensical; the town requires homeless shelters to have sidewalks and be situated near major roads.
The government’s reasoning meant that there was nowhere in town for the shelter to go. But the Constitution prohibits governments from ruling by paradox, and so the Barber Shelter teamed up with IJ to fight back. We sued the town, and, a few days before Christmas 2021, a federal court sided with IJ and the shelter, concluding that “deference cannot be an excuse for the Court to abdicate its duty to protect the constitutional rights of all people.”
Victory in hand, the Barber Shelter got to work renovating the property.
It now provides short-term housing for up to 10 men on the first floor and six women and a family on the second floor. There are kitchens, common areas, laundry facilities, and other necessities to provide comfort during a difficult time.
The opening ceremony memorialized an important principle: Government shouldn’t stand in the way of private citizens using their own property and initiative to help the least fortunate in their communities.[+] Show More
Sign up to receive IJ's biweekly digital magazine, Liberty & Law, along with breaking updates about our fight to protect the rights of all Americans.