Press Releases

  • January 4, 2022    |   Educational Choice

    Institute for Justice Announces It Will Defend Ohio’s Educational Choice Programs

    The Institute for Justice (IJ) has won over 20 school choice lawsuits, including three at the U.S. Supreme Court

    ARLINGTON, Va.—Today, the Institute for Justice (IJ) announced its intent to intervene to defend Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program and Educational Choice Expansion Program from a legal attack announced this morning by Vouchers Hurt Ohio, an organization composed of a group of public school districts. The lawsuit claims both programs, which empower families zoned to…

  • December 22, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    WATERTOWN, S.D.—After weeks of having her business shuttered and losing out on income, Debra Gagne can finally reopen her ride-for-hire company. This morning, the Watertown City Council held a special session to grant Debra a license to reopen Need-A-Ride, just in time for the busy holiday season. City officials also said they plan to reform…

  • December 20, 2021    |   Private Property

    North Wilkesboro Homeless Shelter Wins Right to Open

    Court finds North Wilkesboro zoning board relied on irrational reasons to prevent Barber Shelter from opening

    Today, a federal district court held that the Catherine H. Barber Memorial Shelter should be allowed to open at its property in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and that the town and its zoning board violated the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law in deciding otherwise. In October 2020, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nonprofit,…

  • December 20, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Public Interest Law Firm Calls on South Dakota Town to End Unconstitutional Taxi Law

    Watertown fines licensed drivers for accepting cash for rides unless city determines there’s a “need”

    WATERTOWN, S.D. — Today, the Institute for Justice (IJ) sent a letter to the city of Watertown, South Dakota, calling on officials to end the harmful “certificate of necessity” law for taxis. This law prevents individuals from offering car rides in exchange for cash, unless the city determines the existing public transportation infrastructure is “inadequate.”…

  • December 16, 2021    |   Private Property

    Clearfield County, Penn.—Imagine spending July Fourth with family in the beautiful forests of the Allegheny Mountains. You’re sitting on the porch on private land, enjoying the peace and quiet and making memories. Then, a man storms up out of nowhere and says he’s been watching you for days with binoculars from a hidden spot on…

  • December 15, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    U.S. Coast Guard Sued for Denying Captain His Registration to Pilot Ships on the Great Lakes

    New lawsuit charges Coast Guard with delay that keeps experienced captain from earning an honest living

    WASHINGTON—The U.S. Coast Guard refuses to hoist the white flag and register Captain Matthew Hight to pilot ships on the Great Lakes, despite losing a federal lawsuit that forced it to administer a required test—which Hight passed. Now Captain Hight, represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), has filed a second federal lawsuit demanding that…

  • December 14, 2021    |   Immunity and Accountability

    A police officer arrested two innocent children at gunpoint. Now they are asking the Supreme Court to hold the officer accountable.

    A court said the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unwarranted arrests is “hazy.” Now, with IJ’s help, a family is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clear the haze and rein in police’s ability to arrest someone for no reason.

    Rarely a day goes by that Americans don’t hear news of police wrongfully arresting someone. In many ways, Americans have grown numb to the fact that police and other government officials routinely violate our Fourth Amendment rights. But today, an Arkansas family working with the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nonprofit public interest law firm,…

  • December 10, 2021

    Texas Veterinarian Scores Important Win in His Long Fight to Defend the First Amendment

    Texas Vet Board punished Dr. Hines for helping pet owners unable to see him in person. Now, his lawsuit can proceed with full First Amendment protection.

    BROWNSVILLE, Texas—Thursday afternoon, Brownsville, Texas, veterinarian Dr. Ron Hines scored an important First Amendment win when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that Texas must satisfy the Constitution’s most demanding free-speech standard if it wants to restrict what Dr. Hines may say to pet owners. Dr. Hines gave online advice…

  • December 9, 2021    |   Economic Liberty Private Property

    Pasadena Mechanic Challenges City’s Mandatory Parking Minimum

    Lawsuit argues minimum parking requirement hurts small businesses and violates the Texas Constitution

    PASADENA, Texas — Azael Sepulveda has always been a car guy. In 2013, he turned that passion into a career and opened Oz Mechanics, a small auto shop in Pasadena. He’s built a successful business over the past nine years and recently decided to buy a storefront instead of leasing. But now, the city of…

  • December 6, 2021    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Victory: California Eliminates Unconstitutional Law Criminalizing Teaching Trade Skills

    Repeal is a win for free speech rights of apprentices and students alike

    SACRAMENTO, Calif – After more than four years of litigation, Bob Smith and Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (PCHS) are free to return to teaching horseshoeing to students who have not completed high school or an equivalent government-mandated exam. Bob and PCHS, who were represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ) in a federal lawsuit to protect the First Amendment right to teach willing students, may again enroll students regardless of their educational…

  • December 2, 2021    |   Private Property

    SEATTLE—Yesterday, the Washington State Supreme Court denied review of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Seattle law that requires tenants to submit to warrantless inspections of their homes. The lawsuit, which was brought by the Institute for Justice (IJ) on behalf of a group of Seattle renters and landlords, argued that the law was…

  • December 1, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    Next Week: Supreme Court Will Hear Potentially Landmark Maine School Choice Case

    High Court will Resolve Whether States May Bar Parents Who Select Schools that Provide Religious Instruction from Participating in Student-Aid Programs

    ARLINGTON, Va.—Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a potentially landmark case challenging a Maine law that bans families from an otherwise generally available student-aid program if they choose to send their children to schools that teach religion. The Institute for Justice (IJ) and First Liberty Institute, which represent the parents…

  • November 19, 2021    |   Immunity and Accountability Private Property

    ARLINGTON, Va.—On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit filed by a Texas woman whose home was destroyed by a SWAT team may move forward. This is a first step toward holding the city of McKinney accountable for destroying Vicki Baker’s home. “The court recognized that the city of McKinney is not exempt from…

  • November 17, 2021    |   Private Property

    New York Residents Fight to Defend Their Homes

    County Development Authority Threatens to Take Homes So It Can Hand Them Over for a Private Development Project

    Syracuse, N.Y.—Today, residents and supporters of the Burnet Road neighborhood in Clay, New York, announced the formation of a new group, the Save Burnet Road Coalition. The group of homeowners and local business owners is organizing to stop the Onondaga County Industrial Development Authority (OCIDA) from destroying a multi-generational rural neighborhood in order to expand…

  • November 16, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Entrepreneur Barred from Competing with Colorado’s Transportation Monopoly Vows to Appeal Case’s Dismissal

    Lawsuit argues that government allowing existing transportation companies to veto new competitors violates the Colorado Constitution.

    DENVER—Today, Abdallah Batayneh, an entrepreneur in Steamboat Springs, announced that he will appeal the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging Colorado’s transportation monopoly law. The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2021, argues that the law protects existing transportation companies from competition by giving them the power to veto new competition. That hurts customers, the public…

  • November 16, 2021    |   Private Property

    Small Business Owner Sues to Stop Ohio’s “Whenever, Wherever” Inspections

    Asking officers to follow the Fourth Amendment and get a warrant should never be a crime

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Jeremy Bennett literally built his business from the ground up, teaching himself taxidermy and deer processing and then constructing his shop just yards from his home in Logan, Ohio. The shop is a private space, and Jeremy allows customers in by appointment only. He even has signs to that effect posted in and around…

  • November 12, 2021    |   Private Property

    IJ Files Amicus Brief Challenging 24/7 Warrantless Video Surveillance

    Americans shouldn’t lose privacy rights because technology has advanced

    ARLINGTON, Va. – If the government points cameras at your home and films you 24/7 for 18 straight months without a warrant, is that a “search” under the Fourth Amendment? The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case called United States v. Tuggle, recently said “no.” But in a new amicus brief supporting…

  • November 10, 2021

    New Class Action Lawsuit Aims to End For-Profit Prosecutions in Indiana

    In many counties, private lawyers prosecute civil forfeiture cases—and take a cut of the money

    INDIANAPOLIS—A new federal class action lawsuit from the Institute for Justice (IJ) aims to end a corrosive feature of Indiana’s civil-forfeiture system: the practice of giving private lawyers a personal financial stake in forfeiture prosecutions. Unlike every other state in the nation, Indiana outsources forfeiture prosecutions to private lawyers on a “contingency fee” basis. Forfeit…

  • November 3, 2021    |   Immunity and Accountability

    5th Circuit Reverses Qualified Immunity for Police Who Arrested Citizen-Journalist

    Priscilla Villarreal can now seek justice for her unconstitutional arrest and prosecution

    ARLINGTON, Va. – Earlier this week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s grant of qualified immunity to police officers who used an unconstitutional law to arrest and prosecute a citizen-journalist. The reversal means the citizen-journalist, Priscilla Villarreal, can now seek justice for her unconstitutional arrest by Laredo, Texas, police. As…

  • November 2, 2021    |   Private Property

    Roseau River Watershed District Audaciously Shuts Down Public Feedback on Controversial Roseau Lake Project

    Critical board meeting may be impossible for public to speak at, much harder for public to see

    ROSEAU, Minn.—Four days before a crucial Roseau River Watershed District (RRWD) meeting that will include discussion of the controversial Roseau Lake Rehabilitation project, the RRWD Board made an unusual announcement: board meetings will no longer be viewable online, and individuals wishing to address the board must give 10 days’ notice. Other attendees will only be…

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