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Year: 2020

December 30, 2020

Our freedom of speech doesn’t depend on what you’re speaking about

The right to protest government is one of the oldest and most revered American traditions. From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights movement to the modern-day Tea Party and Black Lives Matter movements, Americans of all political beliefs and backgrounds have always turned out to protest for justice and liberty. As the Supreme ...

December 23, 2020

“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” beautifully depicts the realities of the housing crisis

A version of this article will appear in The Culture Issue, the Spring 2020 edition of PLF’s magazine Sword&Scales ~~~ In classic westerns, the heroes and villains are straightforward. Bad guys wear black hats and descend on a small town protected by the white-hatted local lawman. We head toward a violent climax and when the ...

December 22, 2020

The Hill: To recover endangered species, reduce conflict and reward landowners who restore habitat

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced two new regulations governing designation of privately owned land as "critical habitat" under the Endangered Species Act. This designation can restrict property rights, reduce land values, and make habitat features a significant liability for landowners. As with any change involving the Endang ...

December 17, 2020

Real Estate Issues: America’s Sordid History of Exclusionary Zoning

In the summer of 1910, a successful Yale-educated attorney named George W.F. McMechen and his schoolteacher wife moved to an upscale neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. After all, McMechen had achieved the American dream; he and his wife were well-respected, affluent professionals, and they wanted their home to reflect their success. But there was ...

December 17, 2020

The Federalist: Courts need to stop presidents from calling oceans ‘national monuments’ to illegally put them off-limits

In Lewis Carroll's classic "Through the Looking Glass," Humpty Dumpty says to the befuddled protagonist, Alice, "When I use a word … it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." Humpty Dumpty's theory of linguistics has invaded landmark preservation, which is just one of the compelling reasons the Supreme ...

December 16, 2020

It should be game over for Nevada’s shutdown policies

In recent years, businesses that combine the fun of playing games with drinks and the atmosphere of a bar or tavern have become extremely popular. From e-sports lounges to arcades and board game shops, these locations have become destinations for adults to socialize and enjoy a fun night out. Individuals come to these businesses primarily ...

December 14, 2020

The Hill: The governor who stole Christmas — and the California businesses fighting back

Small business owners across California have struggled to survive this year in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdown orders. But with the holiday season beginning, Gov. Gavin Newsom, much like the Grinch, has stolen what little festive cheer remained. California already had one of the nation's more restrictive COVID-19 regimes a ...

December 10, 2020

The Detroit News: Professors cannot be excluded from First Amendment rights

At its best, academia is a place where controversial ideas are expressed and students are exposed to unsettling and uncomfortable topics. But increasingly conformity and coddling have become the norm. And professors who dare to say anything provocative or contrary to the prevailing narrative are being targeted, punished or even fired, even at publi ...

December 08, 2020

When can the president tell government agency directors, “You’re fired”?

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Collins v. Mnuchin, challenging the structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Congress created this new federal agency in 2008 in response to the mortgage lending crisis. The FHFA has sweeping authority over our nation's housing finance system, including the power to bring cha ...

December 08, 2020

Daily Journal: High court should require agencies to be transparent about decision-making

In a letter written late in his life to Kentucky legislator William Barry, James Madison warned that a "popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." In the context of the sprawling and often unaccountable modern administrative state these words ...