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Year: 2014

December 31, 2014

PLF fights for North Carolina children

With the new year comes new hopes and new opportunities. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in North Carolina, where the Legislature recently enacted a new school choice program for low-income students. The Opportunity Scholarship Program allows low-income children to attend private schools of their parents’ choice through state-funded sc ...

December 31, 2014

President’s weekly report — December 31, 2014

This update is a bit early this week, in anticipation of a long holiday weekend.  But there’s lots of cool stuff to report: Government accountability — victory in Arizona We received a sweet victory today in Biggs v. Brewer, a case brought by our friends at the Goldwater Institute.  Arizona requires a two-thirds majority for ...

December 31, 2014

Arizona Supreme Court rules that legislators can challenge Gov. Brewer’s illegal Medicaid tax

The Arizona Supreme Court said goodbye to outgoing governor Jan Brewer by upholding the right of legislators to challenge her illegal Medicaid expansion efforts. Last year, Brewer and her supporters engineered an expansion of the state's Medicaid program pursuant to Obamacare—bizarrely, the very same Medicaid expansion she successfully challenge ...

December 30, 2014

Positive first step to the gnatcatcher's delisting

Today, the Fish & Wildlife Service announced a positive 90-day finding on our petition to delist the coastal California gnatcatcher.  The Service has determined that our petition presents substantial information indicating that the bird’s delisting may be warranted.  Our petition argues that a 2013 taxonomic study by Dr. Robert Zink of ...

December 30, 2014

Delta smelt cert petition briefing complete

Shortly before the holiday break, we filed our reply brief on our petition to the United States Supreme Court requesting that it review the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the delta-smelt-inspired water cutbacks which have exacerbated the impacts of California’s drought.  The Court should decide by early January whether to take up t ...

December 29, 2014

Would it be cheaper to just fly every Californian to Japan?

I follow The Onion on Twitter.  It is a news parody site, and it is regularly hilarious.  Over the weekend it tweeted, “Ambitious High-Speed Rail Plan Will Fly Americans To Japan To Use Their Trains #OurAnnualYear.”  The linked article talks about an “ambitious” $80 billion plan by President Obama ...

December 29, 2014

The Interview shows why courts should fix the commercial speech doctrine

The Interview, a ridiculous movie about a fictional plot to assassinate the leader of North Korea, made millions this weekend after Sony Pictures decided to release it to those theaters and online stores willing to offer it. Sony's decision came only after a storm of criticism for its initial decision to withhold the film, caving ...

December 29, 2014

Forest Service, meet your original mission; you too have a lot of catching up to do.

Capitol Press published my op ed online this morning, laying out the case that the United States Forest Service was originally founded to protect private water rights, but now steadfastly opposes them. The Forest Service has radically inverted its mission: closing publicly owned forests to public access, mismanaging forest conditions to create ex ...

December 27, 2014

PLF's Timothy Sandefur discusses The Conscience of The Constitution on C-SPAN's Book TV

A few days ago, I spoke at the National Constitution Center about my book, The Conscience of The Constitution, and about my argument that the Constitution’s central principle is liberty–not the power of the government to impose its will on us. Joining me on stage was Prof. Kermit Roosevelt, and the moderator was the National ...

December 25, 2014

Top ten ways A Christmas Story would be different today

From the home office in Hohman, Indiana, a tongue-in-cheek look at the top ten ways A Christmas Story would be different if it took place today: 10. In response to Flick getting his tongue stuck to the frozen flagpole, Flick's parents would have sued both the teacher and school board for Flick's tongue injuries caused ...