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Blog

Supreme Court Decision Underscores Growing Concern Over Regulatory Overreach

Given the harassment and everyday burdens that federal bureaucrats subject small businesses and families to, it seems obvious that decisions could be challenged by the basic process of judicial review. This right, however, was apparently not entirely evident. The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled unanimously in favor of property owners in a decision that weakens the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act. The ruling in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc gives landowners and businesses the right to go to court when federal regulators trample their rights to property and due process.

05/31/2016
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Blog

Legislation in Virginia Protects Property Owners from Government Overreach

In 2012, Mandrel Stuart was stopped by Fairfax County police and detained without charges because his SUV had tinted windows. Not only was he handcuffed, but he was stripped of $17,550 in cash. Mr. Stuart intended to use that cash for equipment and supplies for his barbecue restaurant in Staunton, Virginia. After hiring a lawyer, a jury determined in 2013 that he was entitled to his money. However, he lost his restaurant in the process due to the financial stress of the circumstances.

02/17/2016
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Blog

Illinois: A State that Steals

Seventy-one-year-old grandmother, Judith Wiese, is just now getting back her car months after it was stolen. The thief? The state of Illinois.

01/21/2016
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Blog

A Small Victory Against EPA Overreach

On Friday, the EPA was dealt another loss by a federal judge as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit authorized a national stay against the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule under the Clean Water Act. This comes after a federal judge in North Dakota had already granted a preliminary injunction against the EPA in August, only a few hours before the rule was about to be implemented.

10/12/2015
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Blog

Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Support Changes to Forfeiture Laws

In 1988, John Bennis was convicted of indecency in the state of Michigan for engaging with a prostitute in his car. He was fined a mere $250 for the incident, but his car was seized through a civil court order under a public nuisance claim. Bennis’s wife, Tina Bennis, was also a legal owner of the vehicle, but despite her shared interest in the car, the state denied her rights as partial owner.

10/02/2015
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Blog

No charges filed in more than a third of Oklahoma civil asset forfeiture cases

The presumption of innocence is a basic principle of the American legal system. Americans are presumed innocent of any allegations of illicit activity until proven guilty by the government in court. But this principle does not apply to civil asset forfeiture in most states, including Oklahoma.

09/02/2015
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House Judiciary Committee Revisits Kelo, Decides State of Property Rights Not Good

Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court effectively scratched the line “for public use” from the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which allows the government to take and repurpose private property. The 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London said that property may be taken from one private owner and given to another private owner if it will generate more revenue for the city.

07/10/2015
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Grassroots Response to Kelo Decision

Today represents the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Supreme Court issues decisions in around eighty cases each year. Some of those decisions, like Kelo, are closely contested 5-4 decisions. But Kelo has been unique because of the response that came from the public.

06/23/2015
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Kelo v. New London: Central Planning Does Not Work, Ruins Lives

Last Thursday, the Cato Institute held an event foreshadowing the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision and celebrating the release of Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” & the Limits of Eminent Domain. There was an impressive cast of presenters with welcoming remarks by Richard Epstein, keynote delivered by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and panelists which included attorneys that represented both sides in oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

06/15/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Georgia’s New Civil Asset Forfeiture Law Does Not Go Far Enough

Jason Pye is the Director of Justice Reform for FreedomWorks. Jorge Marin is the Policy Specialist for Criminal Justice Reform for Americans for Tax Reform.

06/10/2015

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