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Liberty & Law: IJ's Bimonthly Newsletter (December 2010)

Liberty & Law: IJ's Bimonthly Newsletter (December 2010)

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Liberty & Law is published bimonthly by the Institute for Justice, which, through strategic litigation, training, communication, activism and research, advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. IJ litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties, and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government. In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers and policy activists in the tactics of public interest litigation.

Through these activities, IJ challenges the ideology of the welfare state and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government

Editor: John E. Kramer
Layout & Design: Don Wilson
Liberty & Law is published bimonthly by the Institute for Justice, which, through strategic litigation, training, communication, activism and research, advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. IJ litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties, and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government. In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers and policy activists in the tactics of public interest litigation.

Through these activities, IJ challenges the ideology of the welfare state and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government

Editor: John E. Kramer
Layout & Design: Don Wilson

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Institute for Justice on Feb 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives

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02/07/2011

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IJ’s New City Studies:
Want to Create Jobs?Remove Red Tape.
Volume 19 Issue 6
IJ’s Time to Shine
2
IJ WinsMajor Free Speech Victory 
3
Feedm f Fames
8
 Arizona Tax CreditGoes to U.S. Supreme Court
9
December 2010
Published Bimonthly by theInstitute for Justice visit us online:
www.ij.org 
Inside This Issue
By Dana Berliner
Let’s face it: American government at every levelworks diligently to stop entrepreneurs from ever getting their small businesses off the ground. Sure, governmentofficials claim they support entrepreneurship. But inreality, they often just support a few hand-picked or politi-cally connected businesses, granting virtual monopoliesto favored businesses while shutting out newcomers.They do not support true freedom or entrepreneurship.Since our founding in 1991, the Institute for Justice has litigated to free would-be entrepreneursfrom arbitrary and abusive government action. In thatspan, we have represented hairbraiders, casket sellers,computer repair techs, book peddlers, florists, vacuum vendors, interior designers, bagel and doughnut shopowners, eyebrow threaders, taxi drivers, limo drivers, van drivers, tour guides, people who file horses’ teeth
City Studies
continued on
page 4
The Institute for Justice’s city studies feature real-world entrepreneurs from eight different cities across the nation. Chicago entre-preneur
Dee Busch
, left, says requiring her to obtain a landscape architecture license would only raise the cost to consumers; itwould not raise the quality. When
Nick Harris
started Nick’s Towing Service, he could work anywhere in the city of Houston.But the city gave just 11 towing companies the exclusive right to freeway tows, and now Nick is shut out of the freeway market.
 
2
 
By Chip Mellor
Although the recent electionbrought a welcome rebuke of the statist juggernaut and fiscal irresponsibility, itwill not be enough to ensure that federaland state legislatures refrain from busi-ness as usual. Only constraints imposedon government by the Constitutionwill do that. This means courts mustfulfill their role, which James Madisondescribed as acting as “bulwarks of liberty.” Unless the judiciary fulfills thisrole and upholds constitutional limits ongovernment, we will be left to rely onthe self-restraint of government officials.History and common sense show that tobe no limit at all.For too long the courts havedeferred to legislative and executiveauthority, effectively amending theConstitution in the process. The resultis that today, key provisions of theConstitution designed to limit govern-ment power have been negated (includ-ing the Privileges or Immunities Clause,and the Contracts Clause) or trans-formed into Orwellian grants of greatergovernment power (as we have seenwith the Commerce Clause, the GeneralWelfare Clause and the Takings Clause).It is no exaggeration to say that to theextent that there is debate, it is overwhether there are provisions of theConstitution that provide
any 
meaningfullimit on government authority. That iswhere the Institute for Justice comes inand why we look to the next year witheager anticipation.All of our cases involve constitu-tional provisions that must be restored if we are to have the freedom envisionedby the Founders. IJ is already preparing a bumper crop of cases we will launchin the next year vindicating economicliberty, property rights, free speech andschool choice. Each case will serveas a civic alarm clock for the judge itcomes before, urging judicial engage-ment on vital constitutional issues toreplace the blind deference judges havetoo often given to the other branchesof government when those branchesexceed their constitutional authority.Simply put, the Institute for Justiceintends to forcefully, persuasively andpersistently make the case that thecourts must strike down laws and gov-ernment actions that exceed the consti-tutionally enshrined limits on the powerof government.Texas Supreme Court Justice DonWillett described what this means in arecent opinion: “There must remain judicially enforceable constraints onlegislative actions that are irreconcilablewith constitutional commands. If leg-islators come to believe that the policepower is an ever expanding constitution-al trump card they can play whenever itsuits them, overreaching is inexorable.He wrote that if courts defer such thatthe legislature has limitless power todeclare its actions justified by the policepower, “At that constitutional tipping point, adjudication more resemblesabdication.”That makes eminent sense, butbecause of the precedents that are thelegacy of decades of judicial deference,it will require tenacious and long-termadvocacy.The good news, however, is thatthe recent excesses of the federal gov-ernment have made all but the mostobstinate disciples of judicial “restraint”recognize how dangerous uncheckedlegislative and executive power canbe. Thus, the country is ready likenever before for a concentrated effortto revitalize the Constitution through thecourts. And no one is better equippedthan IJ to do that. IJ’s program com-bines cutting-edge litigation, award-win-ning media relations, in-depth strategicresearch, energetic grassroots mobiliza-tion and expert legislative counseling tomaximize the real-world impact of everycase we take on.As the Institute for Justice entersits twentieth year, that time-testedapproach gives us confidence andoptimism about meeting the challengesahead.
u
Chip Mellor
is IJ’sPresident and GeneralCounsel.
Need for Judicial EngagementMakes IJ More Critical Than Ever
“The Institute for Justice intends to forcefully, persuasively and persistently make the case that the courts must strikedown laws and government actions that exceed the consti- tutionally enshrined limits on the power of government.”
 
3
December 2010
IJ Scores Major Free Speech Victory For Parker North Neighbors
By Steve Simpson
In November, a federal appellatecourt ruled that six neighbors in thetiny subdivision of Parker North, Colo.,should not have been forced to regis-ter with the government and complywith burdensome campaign financelaws simply for opposing a ballot issueinvolving the annexation of their neigh-borhood.In
Sampson v. Buescher 
, apanel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously recognized thesevere burden Colorado’s campaignfinance laws imposed on grassrootspolitical activists. The court ruled,“The average citizen cannot beexpected to master on his or herown the many campaign financial-disclosure requirements set forth inColorado’s constitution, the CampaignAct, and the Secretary of State’s RulesConcerning Campaign and PoliticalFinance.”IJ client Karen Sampson said,“This ruling is a complete vindication of what we’ve said all along. Campaignregulations and red tape serve nopurpose in local ballot issue electionsother than to make political participa-tion more difficult for ordinary citizens.”For a brief and funny videodiscussing this lawsuit, visit IJ’s site:
www.ij.org/2504
.Sampson and her neighbors firstlearned about Colorado’s campaignfinance laws when they organizedto oppose the annexation of theirneighborhood into the adjacent townof Parker. The group talked to neigh-bors, circulated postcards and planted yard signs. But in Colorado and otherstates, when two or more peoplespend more than $200 to speakout about a ballot issue, they mustregister with the state as an “issuecommittee” and comply with rulesand regulations that rival the tax lawsin their complexity. Issue committeesmust appoint a registered agent, openseparate bank accounts, and discloseall contributions and expenditures of more than $20 for things like yardsigns and fliers. Because Sampsonand the others failed to register withthe government before speaking, theprincipal proponents of the annexationused Colorado’s campaign financelaws to sue them.This ruling means that grassrootspolitical activists in Colorado and theother states in the 10th Circuit canspeak freely without fear of being sued by their political opponents. TheCourt recognized that states havelittle or no interest in requiring groupsthat simply wish to speak out for andagainst ballot issues to register andcomply with complicated disclosurerules.Freedom of speech means thatcitizens, not government, get to decidewhether to disclose their identitieswhen they speak out about ballotissues. For those who don’t trustanonymous speech, the solution is tonot listen to it.The court’s decision is supportedby IJ’s strategic research.
CampaignFinance Red Tape 
, Dr. Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri asked 255people to fill out the registration anddisclosure forms for a small politicalgroup. Not one participant man-aged to do so correctly. The averagecorrect score was just 41 percent.
“No one should be afraid to speak about issues orpolitics for fear of being sued, and no one shouldhave to hire a lawyer to put up yard signs.”
—IJ client Karen Sampson
Parker North
continued on
page 10

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