When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of eminent domain in the Kelo case, state activists pushed for eminent domain reform across the country. Georgia was one of the states that enacted new and better laws. The City of Marietta took it upon themselves to decide that the law was merely guidance. The State Supreme Court ruled against them in a victory for property owners.

Governments at all levels require you to have a license to work in many careers. Ostensibly the argument is that they are regulating public safety. In reality they are usually both fund raisers for the government and protection for those who are already in the career field. This licensing imposes a greater burden on lower skilled workers trying to get jobs. When it costs thousands of dollars to pay for the government mandated training and then the license, many people are shut out of the career field, The “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens From Occupational Licensing” is an awesome resource to examine the depth of the problem and learn of ways to lower the burden.(1 comment)

Private property should mean just that. If you own the property, you should enjoy the reasonable expectation that you are free from government instrutions and that you can keep trespassers from wandering over your property. Well, not only is that not the case in Pennsylvania, but the Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that property owners are barred from federal courts until they survive a series of expensive, time-consuming procedural traps. A new law suit seeks to correct this.(1 comment)

One of the overlooked aspects of the Houston flooding is that some of it was caused by actions of the US Army Corps of Engineers! The Corps has built many man made reservoirs over the years to control flooding. Although made to control flooding, they quickly become scenic places to build houses to enjoy recreation and scenic views. Many neighborhoods in Houston actually weren’t flooded out during the disaster. However, as water levels rose, the Corps decided to breach the dams and such that made the reservoirs. Large scale flooding occurred because of this decision. Do the people have a right to claim damages?(1 comment)

St. Louis, Missouri is a 487 County, so little of what they do politically is too much of a surprise. Like many cities with failing public schools, St. Louis has created Magnet Schools, Charter Schools and other alternatives. While the argument is that they are making better choices, in reality most of these “better” schools are designed to keep parents from pulling good kids out of the public school systems. If they can keep them, then scores overall go up and it creates the illusion that progress is being made. Well, imagine one families surprise to discover that only white children are allowed in these alternative schools! Yes, this very liberal city is denying the opportunity for a child to get an education based on his skin color!(1 comment)

In 2009 California passed the Private Postsecondary Education Act, which forced PCHS and other schools to require that prospective students possess a high school diploma—or pass an equivalent government-approved exam—before they can enroll in a private trade school. The state calls it an “ability to benefit” prerequisite. You might wonder why any Government would want to prevent their citizens from gaining a skill that might make them productive citizens. I’m guessing in California’s case it has something to do with the teachers unions who benefit from making people use their “education” system. This prerequisite was never enforced against PCHS until earlier this year, when California regulators threatened to shut down PCHS if Bob didn’t start turning away any student who did not meet the state’s prerequisite education requirements.(2 comments)

New Orleans doesn’t just destroy Confederate memorials. They destroy private property too. When David and Lourdes Garrett purchased a neglected townhouse from the City of New Orleans in 2015, they had plans to renovate it and rent it out. But they never had a chance. Approximately four months after the acquisition, the City demolished the building. It provided the Garretts with no prior notice, hearing, or opportunity to repair. The City’s actions are unconscionable since the Garretts’ interests were easily ascertainable and indeed, obvious, given the Garretts’ recent and recorded purchase from the City itself. Yet, the only notices and hearings prior to demolition were directed to a long-gone owner of the property from the 1990’s, someone who had not owned the property since the City took possession in 1998. When the Garretts protested the demolition of their property, the city responded by sending an $11,000 bill for the cost. Pacific Legal Foundation is one of the good guys and are taking the case to the 5th Circuit.(1 comment)

I’ve been posting about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for some time now. It’s still not too late to contact your congress folks to protect our freedoms. This guy raises an interesting point that goes beyond Section 702 into regular seizures of computers, tablets and phones. At what point does a seizure become a search, and what are the 4th Amendment implications? This is a good read.(1 comment)

A police chief’s daughter in Bucks County Pennsylvania got drunk with a group of her friends and went on a gay bashing event that resulted in beating two gay individuals merely for being gay. The daughter and others were charged. A local person started a parody web site that made fun of the Chief’s daughter. All of this is a different county within the state of PA. Chief goes to the local District Attorney and before you know it, the District Attorney dispatches detectives to the workplace of the woman who started the web page. They get her fired and threaten to charge her with crimes if she doesn’t stop her web site. She finds a lawyer and sues. Pennsylvania courts rule that the detectives and the DA have qualified immunity which means she can’t sue them. US District Court rules that you cannot use your office to perform prior restraint on the 1st Amendment. A victory for freedom.

Who saw this coming? A “conservative” court making a ruling based on the constitution. Georgia’s court is not packed with liberal, “let the criminals run free” judges. This is the “killer” paragraph that judges everywhere need to read, learn and embrace: We interpret a constitutional provision according to the original public meaning of its text, which is simply shorthand for the meaning the people understood a provision to have at the time they enacted it. This is not a new idea. Indeed, there are few principles of Georgia law more venerable than the fundamental principle that a constitutional provision means today what it meant at the time that it was enacted. “[T]he Constitution, like every other instrument made by men, is to be construed in the sense in which it was understood by the makers of it at the time when they made it. To deny this is to insist that a fraud shall be perpetrated upon those makers or upon some of them.” A victory for freedom.