Issues and Cases

 

Thanks to our donors, PLF remains in the lead as America’s legal watchdog for liberty. We’re an action organization, battling in courtrooms across the country for limited government, property rights, free enterprise, and common sense in environmental regulations.  Choose from the Litigation categories below for a list of some major cases PLF has brought in each practice area.

Other PLF cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

Economic Liberty Individual Rights Environmental Regulations 
Free Enterprise Property Rights Supreme Court


PLF believes it is the right of every person to earn an honest living and compete freely without unreasonable government interference. The Economic Liberty Project is dedicated to challenging irrational and anti-competitive occupational licensing laws which exist not to protect the public, but serve only to protect discrete interest groups from competition.

Other PLF economic liberty cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

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Minerva Dairy v. Brancel

Wisconsin rates low marks for banning sale of ungraded butter
                     

Summary: Wisconsin has recently begun enforcing Wis. Stat. § 97.176, a forty-year-old statute that makes it illegal to sell ungraded butter in the states.  Most butters sold in the United States are ungraded, and Wisconsin is the only state to prohibit the sale of ungraded butter.  PLF represents Ohio-based Minerva Dairy, which has long sold its ungraded butters in Wisconsin, but was recently told it could no longer do so.  Minerva Dairy is challenging the restriction as a violation of constitutional protections for economic liberty.

"Wisconsin's butter-grading mandate scores a failing grade for being unnecessary, unreasonable, and unconstitutional," said PLF Senior Attorney Joshua Thompson. "It amounts to illegal economic protectionism. It is an unnecessary procedure that only the big dairies in Wisconsin can afford, so it freezes out smaller or specialized dairies, like Minerva. The proper purpose of economic regulations is to protect public health and safety. In contrast, Wisconsin's grading mandate serves to shield favored businesses, while harming competitors and the general public by restricting consumer choice. Because these are not legitimate regulatory purposes, our lawsuit challenges the law as a violation of constitutional protections for economic liberty."

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The Book Passage v. Becerra

Defending California’s booksellers
                     

Summary:  California’s newly expanded autograph law which formerly applied only to sports memorabilia — now applies to sellers of any signed commodity worth over $5, including books. The law requires sellers to provide a Certificate of Authenticity that includes detailed information about each sale, as well as personal information about buyers and previous owners — and to store those records for seven years. Failure to include or maintain a certificate, or making an inadvertent omission on the Certificate, results in a civil penalty of up to 10 times any damages plus attorney fees. Select sellers, such as some pawn brokers and online retailers, are exempt.

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Peggy Fontenot v. E. Scott Pruitt, Att’y Gen. of Oklahoma

Oklahoma can’t deprive Native American artists of First Amendment rights
                     

Summary: Oklahoma has adopted a law that prohibits Native American artists from describing their artwork as made by an “American Indian,” unless they are members of federally recognized tribes.  This restriction excludes members of the more than 60 state recognized tribes, including PLF’s client Peggy Fontenot — an award-winning Native American photographer and artist who participates in American Indian art shows throughout the United States.  PLF argues that Oklahoma’s exclusionary policy violates Peggy’s First Amendment rights, along with other constitutional principles and protections.

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Arty Vogt and Vogt Ventures LLC v. Ferrel, et al.

Razing government roadblocks to competition in the moving business
                     

Summary: West Virginia forces entrepreneurs to prove a “need” for additional moving services before they are allowed to operate. PLF is challenging this roadblock to new competition — called a “Certificate of Necessity” law — on behalf of Arty Vogt, owner of Lloyd’s Transfer & Storage, in Berryville, Virginia.

Vogt’s business was blocked from expanding 10 miles across the border into West Virginia by the unconstitutional law. The lawsuit argues that the restriction is unconstitutional because it burdens interstate commerce in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause and because it is not rationally related to a legitimate government interest, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. West Virginia’s Certificate of Need law exists solely to protect established companies from legitimate competition.

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PLF promotes individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government. Specifically, PLF protects the right to free speech and association, fights unconstitutional taxes, fees, and debt, and combats the government waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption that pose a threat to liberty.

Other PLF individual rights cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

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Edmund Lee Jr. v. Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation

Challenging race-based student transfer restrictions in the St. Louis area
                     

Summary: As part of a desegregation lawsuit settlement decades ago, the St. Louis Student Transfer Program was established, imposing race-based restrictions on transfers between school districts in the County and schools in the City of St. Louis (and vice versa). La’Shieka White has moved to St. Louis County from the city, and would like her son to continue attending his current charter school in the city.

However, the transfer program blocks him from doing so, simply because he is black (he would be allowed to transfer from the county to his charter school in the city if he were of any other race). PLF’s lawsuit challenges this race-based restriction as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

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Armstrong v. Montana Department of Revenue

Challenging a discriminatory assault on Montana’s new school choice program
                     

Summary: Montana’s new scholarship tax credit law offers tax credits for private donations to scholarship organizations. The Montana Department of Revenue has imposed a regulation which would forbid religiously affiliated schools from participating in the tax credit program. Representing the parents of a child in a faith-based school, along with a prominent association of Christian schools, PLF is challenging the anti-religious regulation as violating the First Amendment’s religious freedom, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

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Hardie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

Summary: A high school basketball coach is challenging an NCAA rule prohibiting convicted felons from coaching in NCAA-sponsored tournaments. Plaintiff alleges that the rule is discriminatory simply because of its effect, and despite the lack of a discriminatory intent. In late August, PLF will be filing a brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting the NCAA. Oral argument has not yet been scheduled.

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Anaheim City School District v. Ochoa

PLF files brief in Anaheim school district ‘parent trigger’ law case
                     

Summary: At issue in the case is whether California’s Parent Empowerment Act–also known as the “parent trigger”–applied to Palm Lane Elementary School in Anaheim during the 2013-14 school year. Parents used the Act to petition to convert Palm Lane into a charter school after the school was deemed a failing school year after year. The school district, however, tried to avoid the Act by claiming that the Act didn’t apply during the 2013-14 school year. Fortunately, the trial court rejected the school district’s arguments, but the school district has appealed. 

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Lee v. Tam

Can the government decline to register disparaging trademarks?
                     

Summary: Simon Tam is the frontman of the popular Portland, Oregon, band called The Slants. A few years ago Mr. Tam sought to register The Slants as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While the term has traditionally been used as a derogatory slur for persons of Asian descent, Mr. Tam (an Asian-American) and his fellow Asian-American band members sought to reappropriate the term. With their band, The Slants provide an interesting and entertaining platform for discussing discrimination against Asian-Americans. Unfortunately, the government denied Mr. Tam’s request to register The Slants because it “disparaged” people of Asian descent.

 

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PLF fights for a commonsense, science-based, balanced approach to environmental regulation. PLF challenges government hubris in the enforcement of state environmental regulations and federal laws such as the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act to protect private property rights and reduce the ever-expanding power of government.

Other PLF environmental regulations cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

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Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association et al. v. Ross et al.

The ocean isn’t “land owned or controlled by the Federal government”
                     

Summary: PLF is challenging former President Barack Obama’s decision to declare 5,000 square miles of ocean off-limits to fishermen. This Connecticut-sized monument designation is a blatant abuse of the Antiquities Act, which limits monument designations to “land owned or controlled by the Federal government.”

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"Waters of the United States" (WOTUS)

Federal bureaucrats can’t impose sweeping water oversight rules by fiat
                     

Summary: The Supreme Court has agreed to decide which court should hear challenges to EPA’s far-reaching “WOTUS Rule.” PLF argues that the federal district court should not be closed to its arguments that the rule unlawfully expands the agency’s power under the Clean Water Act to reach all of the nation’s waters and much of its dry land in violation of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Harmful prairie dog regs bore holes in the Constitution
                     

Summary: PLF is defending its win in federal district court, holding for the first time ever that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate the “take” of species found only in one state with no connection to interstate commerce. 

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Duarte Nursery v. Corps of Engineers

A farmer’s due process rights are plowed under by the feds
                     

Summary: PLF is challenging a cease and desist order that required a farmer to abandon his crops without ever giving him a hearing or an opportunity to demonstrate that he hadn’t violated the Clean Water Act, as required by the Constitution’s Due Process Clause. 

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Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“Critical habitat” decree opens the way for limitless federal land grabs
                     

Summary: PLF is challenging federal bureaucrats’ assertion of the authority to designate unoccupied, unsuitable lands as critical habitat—a power that would allow them to regulate all private property at whim. 

 

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All Americans have the constitutional right to earn a living without unfair government interference. PLF attorneys target licensing laws and other regulations that deprive entrepreneurs from competing fairly and pursuing the American dream. PLF confronts outrageous tort liability claims and other litigious practices that threaten to kill jobs, stifle innovation, and suffocate the U.S. economy.

Other PLF free enterprise cases can be found through a case database search HERE. 

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Montemayor v. Sebright

Summary: Amicus brief in Minnesota Supreme Court arguing that manufacturers need not design accident-proof machines or warn against obvious dangers.

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Oddo v. Queens Village

Summary: Amicus brief in New York Court of Appeals arguing that a halfway house is not responsible for the criminal acts of a former resident.

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            Microsoft v. Baker                     

Summary: Merits-stage amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court about class action abuse.

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The right to own, use and protect private property is the most fundamental of all civil rights Americans enjoy. PLF has earned a national reputation for fighting and winning major property rights victories, including several at the U.S. Supreme Court. PLF challenges regulatory shakedowns, illegal zoning practices, eminent domain, and coastal land rights abuses.

Other PLF property rights cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

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Murr v. State of Wisconsin and St. Croix County

A taking occurs where a forced merger of two lots cancels out the separate development opportunities for one of them
                     

Summary: The Murrs contend that forced merger of their two adjoining lots results in a compensable regulatory taking. The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin rejected the takings claim, proclaiming that “contiguous property under common ownership is considered as a whole regardless of the number of parcels contained therein.”  

As amicus, PLF argues that a regulatory taking occurs where a lawfully created and discrete legal lot is precluded from separate development because of a forced merger with the adjoining lot.

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California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose

Constitutional rights are capped by city’s “inclusionary” cap on home prices
                     

Summary: The City of San Jose’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, applying to residential developments of at least 20 homes, requires that 15 percent of the homes be sold at below-market prices determined by the City to buyers with qualifying income levels, or the payment of a $122,000 in-lieu fee. The California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, held in this case that San Jose’s inclusionary zoning ordinance is an exercise of it police power, and not a development exaction subject to heightened scrutiny. On appeal to the California Supreme Court, PLF argues that inclusionary zoning mandates are exactions, subjected to heightened scrutiny under the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on uncompensated takings, and that under that standard the City’s ordinance is facially unconstitutional.

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Beach and Bluff Conservancy v. City of Solana Beach

Eroding the right to protect private property at the coast
                     

Summary: PLF attorneys represent the Beach and Bluff Conservancy, a nonprofit organization of coastal property owners, in their suit against the City of Solana Beach over severe new restrictions on the use of Bluff Retention Devices (BRDs) — such as seawalls — to protect coastal property. The new policies are inconsistent with the Coastal Act, which mandates approval of BRDs “when required to serve coastal-dependent uses or to protect existing structures or public beaches in danger from erosion.”

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Daniel and Maria Levin v. City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco says “stick em up” to landlords who want out of rental business
                     

Summary: PLF is challenging San Francisco’s new “Relocation Assistance Payment Ordinance,” because it requires rental property owners to pay their tenants oppressive and unconstitutional sums of money before the owners can regain personal use of their property — money the tenants can use for any private purpose they wish. PLF attorneys filed the challenge on behalf of homeowners Daniel and Maria Levin, a married couple who own a small two-unit house on Lombard Street. They live in the upper unit, but are effectively denied the right to take occupancy of the lower unit, because of the costly payment — $117,000, in their case — required by the new ordinance.

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Lynch v. California Coastal Commission

Coastal panel pulls the ladder out from under bluff-top owners
                     

Summary: PLF’s clients, Barbara Lynch and Thomas Frick, are bluff-top homeowners in Encinitas. Their homes — and the safety of people on the beach below — are endangered because severe storms and erosion caused disastrous bluff collapses in 2010, destroying their seawall and the lower portion of their long-existing stairway to the beach. The city gave them permission to rebuild the seawall and the stairway — in the same location and dimensions as before — but the California Coastal Commission refused to affirm that approval. The Commission denied, outright, permission to replace the stairway, invoking a municipal code provision banning “new” stairways and requiring the phase-out of existing privately owned stairways. As for the new seawall, the Commission said it could be built — but the permit would last only two decades, at which time the owners would have to apply for a new permit or tear out the structure.

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Sansotta v. Town of Nags Head

Government can’t use a storm as an excuse to deny property rights
                     

Summary: Roc Sansotta and five other property owners own beachfront cottages in Nags Head, North Carolina. When a 2009 storm hit the area, the Town stopped the owners from protecting their property from erosion. The storm did some minor damage and removed sand from around the homes. After the storm, the Town declared the cottages to be nuisances because the Town had decided the cottages had come to be on “public trust” lands. In the Town’s view, whenever erosion pushes the vegetation line or dune line landward, any property that is seaward of that line instantly becomes part of the public beach and must be opened up for public access, regardless of whether it is privately owned and developed. The court issued an order on cross-motions for summary judgment on Nov. 6, 2014. A partial win for the property owners! The case was favorably settled and the parties filed a joint stipulated dismissal on April 1, 2015.

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St. Johns River Water Management District v. Koontz

There’s no “off site” exception to Fifth Amendment’s takings clause
                     

Summary: Coy A. Koontz wants to develop commercial land, most of which lies within a riparian habitat protection zone in Orange County, Florida. He applied for a dredge and fill permit with the St. Johns Water Management District. St. Johns agreed to grant the permit, but only on the condition that he place a conservation easement over his land, and perform mitigation off-site by replacing culverts and plugging certain drainage canals on other properties not owned by Koontz and miles away from the property. When Koontz refused to perform the off-site mitigation, St. Johns denied the permit. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a favorable decision on Jun. 25, 2013, holding that the government's demand for property from a land use permit must satisfy the Nollan and Dolan requirements even when it denies the permit.

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Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is one of the most active and effective public interest legal organizations in filings before the Supreme Court of the United States. PLF has had an unprecedented nine wins in its last ten direct appearances before the High Court for its clients, including three in the last two years.

Other PLF U.S. Supreme Court cases can be found through a case database search HERE.

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Hawkes Co., et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

When regulators label property as “wetlands,” owners may seek judicial review
                     

Summary: Through a “Jurisdictional Determination,” the Army Corps of Engineers designated property owned by The Hawkes Co., Inc., Pierce Investment Company, and LPF Properties, in Minnesota, as “wetlands” over which the Corps has regulatory authority. On appeal, the threshold issue is whether property owners have the legal right to bring a court challenge to such a regulatory finding. In a groundbreaking victory for PLF on May 31, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that landowners have a right to seek judicial review when their property is designated as wetlands subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

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Murr v. State of Wisconsin and St. Croix County

A taking occurs where a forced merger of two lots cancels out the separate development opportunities for one of them
                     

Summary: The Murrs contend that forced merger of their two adjoining lots results in a compensable regulatory taking. The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin rejected the takings claim, proclaiming that “contiguous property under common ownership is considered as a whole regardless of the number of parcels contained therein.” PLF argues that a regulatory taking occurs where a lawfully created and discrete legal lot is precluded from separate development because of a forced merger with the adjoining lot. The U.S. Supreme Court granted the Petition for Writ of Certiorari on January 15, 2016. The reply brief on the merits filed on July 29, 2016.

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Kent Recycling Services, LLC v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Army Corps flouts law in attempt to expand its control of private property
                     

Summary: For almost two decades the Army Corps of Engineers has exempted from Clean Water Act jurisdiction all wetlands that had been converted to agricultural use prior to 1985, no matter how the “prior converted croplands” are used today. Under this rule, “prior converted croplands” can lose their exemption only if they are abandoned for a number of years and the land regains its wetland characteristics. But now, pursuant to a “policy pronouncement,” the Corps has adopted a new standard that withdraws the prior converted croplands exemption upon a change in use. The U.S. Supreme Court granted PLF's petition for rehearing, vacated its order denying review of Kent Recycling, granted review of the case, then at the same time vacated the Fifth Circuit’s adverse decision, and remanded the case to the Fifth Circuit for further review in light of the Court’s decision in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes. To summarize, the Supreme Court overruled the Fifth Circuit in favor of Kent Recycling.

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California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose

Constitutional rights are capped by city’s “inclusionary” cap on home prices
                     

Summary: The City of San Jose’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, applying to residential developments of at least 20 homes, requires that 15 percent of the homes be sold at below-market prices determined by the City to buyers with qualifying income levels, or the payment of a $122,000 in-lieu fee. The California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, held in this case that San Jose’s inclusionary zoning ordinance is an exercise of it police power, and not a development exaction subject to heightened scrutiny. On appeal to the California Supreme Court, PLF argues that inclusionary zoning mandates are exactions, subjected to heightened scrutiny under the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on uncompensated takings, and that under that standard the City’s ordinance is facially unconstitutional.

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Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas

University of Texas is flouting the Constitution with race-based admissions
                     

Summary: This case asks whether the admissions policies and procedures at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) which grant preferences to students of certain races and ethnic backgrounds violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In its amicus brief, PLF argues that, in order to survive strict scrutiny analysis, race-conscious undergraduate admissions policies must be narrowly tailored to meet a compelling governmental interest. For instance, with respect to the narrow tailoring prong, before resorting to race-conscious undergraduate admissions policies, there must be a showing that race-neutral alternatives failed. Here, the university adopted race-conscious policies in spite of successful race-neutral alternatives and they will continue on indefinitely.

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Shea v. Kerry

If government hires by race, it must be prepared to justify the biased practice in court
                     

Summary: Under the State Department’s Mid-Level Affirmative Action Plan (MLAAP), the Department hired entry-level, self-identified minorities directly into a mid-level position. William Shea, a white male Department employee, brought an employment discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, arguing that he was subjected to unequal treatment under the MLAAP because of his race. The district court ruled that Shea bears the burden to show that the race-based program was illegal, and he has failed to carry that burden of proof. The court noted that had Mr. Shea brought his claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the government’s burden would have been higher, and he would have prevailed.

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Arrigoni Enterprises, LLC v. Durham Planning and Zoning Commission, and Durham Zoning Board of Appeals, CT

Defending a landowner’s right to make reasonable, productive use of his property
                     

Summary: The Arrigoni family owns a 9-acre parcel of land in Durham, Connecticut, that it has been trying to develop for the past decade. Although the land is zoned for light industrial use, the Town refused to allow building on the property because it would require rock excavation and crushing, which the zoning does not allow. However, the Town did approve development on neighboring parcels, even though excavation and crushing were required. The Town denied the family’s requests to change the zoning to allow for excavation, to obtain a variance from the excavation restriction and to process a special permit for the excavation. PLF attorneys took over representation of the case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeal where they seek to vindicate the Arrigoni’s constitutional right to use and develop their property.

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Friedrichs v. CTA

PLF supports lawsuit by California non-union teachers over mandatory union dues
                     

Summary: Many California public school teachers resigned their union memberships over the past several years, often due to disagreement with their union’s policy positions. However, a union is required by law to represent all employees within its bargaining unit, even if they are not union members. Accordingly, California law requires non-union teachers to pay dues toward the collective-bargaining activity of the union that represents them. These teachers may refuse to pay dues toward their union’s political lobbying — but a refusal requires teachers to jump through several procedural hoops, including expressly and affirmatively notifying their union of their desire not to pay those dues. There is a very short time limit to refuse.

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MHN Government Services, Inc. v. Zaborowski

Summary: Pursuant to an arbitration agreement, the parties in this case agreed to arbitrate their disputes. They further agreed that if any specific terms of the agreement were invalid, a court should simply sever the offending terms and still honor the parties’ agreement. California courts apply an anti-severance rule to arbitration agreements, but not ordinary contracts. Applying this rule, the Ninth Circuit declined to sever separate provision in the agreement it determined were unconscionable and invalidated the entire arbitration agreement. The question presented in this case is whether California’s arbitration-only severability rule is preempted by the Federal Arbitration act (FAA), which states that agreements to arbitrate “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” PLF’s amicus brief argues that California’s rule disproportionately—and adversely—affects arbitration contracts, in violation of the FAA, which protects the freedom of contract.

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Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris

Summary: Under California law, nonprofits that receive donations from California residents are required to submit a copy of their IRS Form 990 to the state’s Attorney General. Historically, the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) has provided the public version of the form that redacts the names and addresses of its donors. Last year, however, the Attorney General demanded that CCP turn over the names and addresses of every donor who contributed more than $5,000. CCP argues that this demand violates the First Amendment’s protection of private association and speech. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the disclosure requirement imposes no First Amendment injury and upheld it under purported “exacting scrutiny.” The questions presented in CCP’s cert petition are: (1) Whether a state official’s demand for all significant donors to a nonprofit organization, as a precondition to engaging in constitutionally-protected speech, constitutes a First Amendment injury; and (2) whether the “exacting scrutiny” standard applied in compelled disclosure cases permits state officials to demand donor information based upon generalized “law enforcement” interests, without making any specific showing of need. PLF’s amicus brief argues that requiring organizations to prove that disclosure will lead to retaliation will chill speech in violation of the First Amendment.

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DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia

Summary: When Amy Imburgia sued DirecTV to dispute early termination fees, her service contract explicitly said that any disputes would be resolved in individual arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) unless “the law of your state would find this agreement to dispense with class arbitration procedures unenforceable.” In 2005, the California Supreme Court announced a rule that consumer class-action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements were unenforceable. However, in 2011the Supreme Court held that this rule was preempted by the FAA. Nevertheless, the California Court of Appeal permitted Imburgia to bring her suit as a class action, reasoning that “law of your state” must be interpreted without regard to any preemptive effect of the FAA. A Ninth Circuit decision interpreting the same contract found this argument “nonsensical” because a preempted law—whether a statute or a common law rule—is a nullity; it cannot be “the law of your state” because once it is held preempted, it is not “the law.” The issue is this case is whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Ninth Circuit, that a reference to state law in an arbitration agreement governed by the FAA requires the application of state law preempted by the FAA. PLF’s amicus brief argues that, under the Supremacy Clause, preempted state law must yield completely.

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Spokeo v. Robins

Summary: Spokeo, Inc. runs a website that collects and publishes consumer “credit estimates.” Thomas Robins sued Spokeo in federal court for willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act because it published false information—specifically, that Robins was older, married with children, had a graduate degree, and was wealthy. The issue raised in this case is whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm by allowing individuals to sue based on a bare violation of a federal statute. The trial court held that Spokeo’s statutory violations only caused speculative harm to Robins, and that he, therefore, lacked Article III standing. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that any plaintiff who alleged a willful statutory violation could be assumed to suffer an injury caused by that violation. PLF’s amicus briefs at the cert. stage and on the merits argue that Congress cannot unilaterally expand Article III standing beyond its constitutional limits. They also argue that lawsuits that don’t involve actual personal harm are a drain on economic and judicial resources.

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