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Liberty & Law

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Meet the New Orleans Man Fighting the DEA for His Life Savings

Civil forfeiture turns bedrock principles of our legal system on their heads. It ensnares people in byzantine legal procedures designed to result in uncontested forfeitures, and it forces Americans to prove their own innocence to keep their property. That is exactly where Kermit Warren, a Hurricane Katrina survivor from New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, finds…

New IJ Research Holds a Mirror to the Ugly Face of Beauty Licensing

IJ supporters know that we’ve long fought to exempt natural hair braiders, eyebrow threaders, and other niche beauty service providers from burdensome licensing requirements. We also challenge and end so-called good character requirements that prevent aspiring beauty workers from becoming licensed because of long-past and irrelevant criminal histories. But we’ve never taken on cosmetology licensing…

IJ Seeks to End Near-Absolute Immunity for Federal Officers

By now, many of our readers have heard of qualified immunity. It is a pernicious legal doctrine that shields government officials from accountability for violating someone’s rights unless a court has previously ruled that it was “clearly established” those precise actions were unconstitutional. If no such decision exists—or if it exists but in another jurisdiction—the…

30 Years of IJ: Taking Stock as We Ramp Up for the Decades Ahead

The night before IJ first opened its doors in the fall of 1991, I made a pilgrimage to commune with “TJ” at the Jefferson Memorial, just across the National Mall from IJ’s first offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. I was a 24-year-old kid who had just graduated from law school and taken the bar exam. I…

Four Pillars Society Supports IJ’s Future

Looking at the Institute for Justice today, it is hard to imagine that 30 years ago it consisted of only a handful of attorneys and staff setting out to challenge abusive and overreaching government. IJ’s planned giving program, our Four Pillars Society, established 15 years ago, similarly began on a much smaller scale. Back then,…

Government Theft Auto

Normally, there’s a word for taking someone’s property and keeping it: theft. Yet, for Wilmington, Delaware, and its private towing contractors, taking property and keeping it is just standard towing and impound procedure. The city’s program is transparently abusive and blatantly unconstitutional. Here’s how it works: Wilmington outsources its municipal program to private companies, “paying”…

Signs of Progress in Chicago

Haji Healing Salon, a client of IJ’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School, opened a new location in a brand-new building this spring. The double storefront has room for a retail shop selling plants, tonics, herbs, and skin care products, as well as space for healing services like community acupuncture, yoga…

All in a Day: A Case Launch, a Victory, and a Declaration of War on Federal Forfeiture

Stephen Lara did everything right. But, as readers of Liberty & Law know well, even innocent people aren’t safe from civil forfeiture. Stephen is a 39-year-old retired Marine from Lubbock, Texas. He is a devoted father of two teenage daughters and, once a month, he drives from Texas to see them in California, where they…

Family Farm Wins Early Victory Against Local Retaliation

This summer, Erica and Zach Mallory of Eagle, Wisconsin, scored an important victory for the freedom to speak out against government abuses. A federal court ruled for them and for IJ in our challenge to unconstitutional retaliation from local government officials who didn’t like the Mallorys’ criticism of their bad behavior. The judge ordered Eagle…

VICTORY for Educational Choice in New Hampshire!

As the new school year begins, families across New Hampshire are enjoying new choices for their kids’ education. Thanks to a major legislative victory spurred by an IJ lawsuit, people like IJ clients Dennis and Cathy Griffin, who live in a New Hampshire “tuitioning town,” are now eligible for tuition payments for their students even…

IJ Makes Headlines Feature Text

IJ Makes Headlines

These articles and editorials are just a sample of favorable local and national pieces IJ secured in the weeks prior to the release of the October issue of Liberty & Law. By getting our message out in print, radio, broadcast, and online media, we show the real-world consequences of government restrictions on individual liberty—and make…

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