Law Unconstitutionally Harms Mobile Vendors in Order to Stifle Competition
San Antonio—Earlier this year, government agents showed up at Rafael Lopez’s business unannounced and told him that he had to shut down immediately, or face fines of up to $2,000 per day. Why? Because Rafael’s business—a taco truck called El Bandera Jalisco, which he parked on private property along Broadway Street—was operating within 300 feet…
Federal Court Halts Psychology-Board Censorship; Psychology Board’s “Regulatory Zeal” Prompts Judge to Issue “‘Wake Up’ Call”
Arlington, Va.—In a major victory for First Amendment rights, yesterday evening a federal court in Kentucky found an effort by the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology to censor the parenting advice of nationally syndicated newspaper columnist John Rosemond to be unconstitutional. Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove in his ruling criticized the Board’s “regulatory zeal”…
Federal Judge Dismisses Several Taxi Owners’ Claims to Millions of Dollars Following Legalization of Ridesharing
Chicago—Yesterday afternoon, Judge Sharon Coleman threw out most of the claims brought in a federal lawsuit that threatened to end transportation innovation in Chicago. The city’s taxicab companies filed the lawsuit in an attempt to invalidate a 2014 ordinance officially sanctioning ridesharing. A coalition of Chicago ridesharing drivers partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ)…
Institute for Justice | Liberty in Action | September 18, 2015
In a bold move last Tuesday evening after just one hour of discussion, Sarasota City Commissioners voted unanimously to deregulate all for-hire vehicle services in the city, removing the barriers that taxi drivers complained gave ridesharing services like Uber an unfair advantage. Now all drivers, including taxi cabbies, can conduct their business without government interference. The…
Institute for Justice | Liberty in Action | September 18, 2015
A team of investors led by soccer player David Beckham may be granted permission to construct a newmajor league soccer stadium in Miami, regardless of the human toll. Before the construction of the soccer stadium begins, the city of Miami will have to acquire acres of land in the middle of Miami. To get the…
Las Vegas, NV.—Today, a group of five Nevada families partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to defend Nevada’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program against two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. By formally intervening into the lawsuits, the families will ensure that the 450,000 students eligible for the program are represented as the lawsuits progress through…
Institute for Justice | Press Release | September 8, 2015
IJ Calls on Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to End Their Efforts to Halt Civil Forfeiture Reform
Arlington, VA—A cache of documents uncovered by the Institute for Justice today demonstrate that federal law enforcement officials in the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Treasury are collaborating with local law enforcement organizations in California to undermine efforts to reform the state’s civil forfeiture laws. The California District Attorneys Association is circulating a set of…
Norys Hernandez co-owns a home in North Philadelphia with her sister, who resides there. Norys has never been in trouble with the law. But her home was seized after her nephew was caught selling a small amount of drugs outside the home.
Rett owns Revolver Brewing, south of Fort Worth. He is fighting a Texas law that forces brewers to give up their distribution rights to distributors for free. Even worse, distributors can then sell those rights to other distributors and pocket the money.
Chip owns Live Oak Brewing, based in Austin, Texas. Established in 1997, Live Oak has been brewing craft beer long before its current surge in popularity. Now he is fighting a Texas law that forces craft brewers to give up millions of dollars of valuable property to politically connected beer distributors.
Teresa Quinones, of Lawrenceville, Ga., is a mother of three young children. Her two oldest children, Audri and Christopher, attend Notre Dame Academy, thanks to Georgia’s Scholarship Tax-Credit Program.
For decades, Isis Brantley has fought for her right to braid hair and to pass on her knowledge to others. She successfully sued the state of Texas after it attempted to force her to turn her braiding school into a barber college.
The Archdiocese of Newark is one of the largest in terms of population in the U.S., with nearly 1.3 million Catholics and 219 parishes. The Archdiocese is fighting a New Jersey law that makes it a crime to sell monuments, such as headstones, to their parishioners.
Michael Peticolas owns Peticolas Brewing, located in an industrial neighborhood near downtown Dallas. In 2013, Texas passed a law that prohibits brewers from negotiating with distributors for the value of their territorial rights. Instead, the law forces brewers to give those rights away for free. That jeopardizes his plans to expand into other parts of Texas.
The Washington Department of Licensing ordered IJ client Salamata Sylla to obtain a time-consuming and irrelevant cosmetology license for hair braiding. IJ sued on her behalf and forced the Department to adopt a rule exempting braiders.
IJ client Celeste Kelly spent hundreds of hours learning about horses in order to obtain private certifications in animal massage. But now the state of Arizona is forcing her to become a licensed veterinarian to continue practicing her craft.
IJ client Cynthia Perry wants to send her daughter, Faith, to a private school in North Carolina, but she cannot afford the tuition on her own. She needs the financial lifeline of an Opportunity Scholarship.
John owns Green Cab, which combines cutting-edge dispatching technology, eco-friendly Priuses and a staff of friendly drivers, to offer $3-a-head rides in Athens, Ohio. But when he tried to expand to Bowling Green, he was stymied by a city law that limited the number of taxis allowed in the city to only 16. Less than two months after he filed a lawsuit, Bowling Green repealed the cap.
Khalid (“Ken”) Quran moved to America in 1997, and now runs a convenience store in Greenville, N.C. But the government seized his entire bank account—more than $150,000—even though he was never charged with a crime.
Florence and Derrick would like their children to attend a Catholic high school in Aurora, Colo. But paying tuition for both children to attend Regis would be a substantial financial burden, so scholarships by Douglas County’s school choice program would help defray costs.
Wendy trained as a makeup artist in Hollywood and has over 20 years of experience working with celebrities. But in Nevada, teaching others how to apply makeup without a government-issued license can subject you to up to $2,000 in fines.
Dr. Mark Monteferrante wants to build a new, top-notch medical facility in Virginia. But under the commonwealth’s certificate of need (CON) program, he first has to persuade government officials that his facility would be “needed.”
Dr. Mark Baumel, of Colon Health Centers for America, wants to increase the rate of screening for colon cancers. But when Dr. Baumel and his partners sought Virginia’s permission to buy new CT scanners, it denied them a “certificate of need.”
IJ client Elmer Kilian has been preparing taxes for the past 30 years on his dining room table. He fought and successfully defended his right to earn an honest living without getting permission from the IRS.
Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart in rural North Carolina. Then, without any warning, agents from the IRS seized his entire bank account, totaling more than $107,000.
Terry Dehko and his family have owned and operated the Schott’s Market in Fraser, Mich., for 35 years. The Dehkos had $35,000 taken from them by federal law enforcement officials through a process known as civil forfeiture.
After obtaining her private certifications in canine massage therapy, Grace started volunteering with rescue agencies and adoption events to provide canine massage for ailing and neglected dogs. She later turned her volunteer hobby into a business, which she named Pawsitive Touch.
Mary Lou Wesselhoeft and her husband Paul Wesselhoeft own Ocheesee Creamery, a small creamery in the Florida Panhandle. Because of the all-natural dairy philosophy that Mary Lou follows, she added nothing to the creamery’s skim milk. But a state agency wants her to use a confusing and misleading label that labels the milk something it is not: “Non-Grade ‘A’ Milk Product, Natural Milk Vitamins Removed.”
IJ client Dr. Ben Burris is an Arkansas orthodontist who wants to offer low-cost teeth cleanings to people who cannot otherwise afford them. But it is illegal for him to perform basic dental services, even though he is a licensed dentist.
IJ client Jane Astramecki, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, runs a home baking business. But Minnesota’s restrictive cottage food law bans her from earning more than $5,000 a year and from selling her treats at venues other than farmers’ markets and community events.
IJ By the Numbers
4 Litigation Pillars
86% from individuals
14% from foundations
5 U.S. Supreme Court cases since 2002, including 4 victories
IJ is currently litigating42 cases in 24 states and Washington, D.C.
The Sparkle Bar: A Celebration Of Entrepreneurship, Ingenuity, & Liberty
With IJ’s help, Arizona’s first storefront makeup studio, The Sparkle Bar—the long-held dream of entrepreneurs and makeup artists, Leiah Scheibel & Alexandra Bradberry—opened last night in Oldtown Scottsdale.
Behind the Scenes at Nevada School Choice Press Conference
IJ client Liz Robbins addresses the media at the launch of IJ’s intervention in the case.
Legislative Victory from Chicago
The Committee on License and Consumer Protection held a hearing and voted for the street vendor ordinance to pass!