Tag: Institute for Justice

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, who represents the lead plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Carson v. Makin. They discussed last week’s oral arguments, and the background and key legal contours of the case. Bindas described Maine’s school tuitioning program, and the pivotal change in the early 1980s that allowed for the state to discriminate against religious families. They explored the questionable distinction that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit drew between religious “status” and “use” in schooling, and the likely impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 Espinoza decision, which was a major victory for the Institute for Justice and school choice. Bindas shared what makes him hopeful that the Court will rule in the Carsons’ favor, and what he thinks the next legal steps should be to support K-12 educational choice.

Read Pioneer’s amicus brief and op-ed in support of the plaintiffs in this case.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ). They discuss IJ’s 2020 landmark U.S. Supreme Court win in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, and its implications for state Blaine Amendments, bigoted legal barriers that have blocked religious liberty and school choice for over a century. They delve into the current legal and political status of school choice in America, at a time of unprecedented support for education savings account, education tax credit, and voucher programs. As lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Maine school tuitioning case, Carson v. Makin, recently granted certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court, he explains the central issues, and what another major victory could mean for religious school parents. They then turn to higher education, and Michael offers thoughts on why access to religiously-affiliated primary and secondary schooling is still viewed so differently than students attending religiously-affiliated colleges and universities through state and federal grant and loan programs.

Stories of the Week: EdWeek reports that school board meetings across the country have become increasingly rancorous as a result of growing partisanship, the lack of local news coverage, and social media – to the detriment of students’ academic success. The U.S. Department of Education announced the expansion of the Second Chance Pell program, allowing up to 200 colleges to provide prison education programs for those who have previously been unable to access federal need-based financial aid.

Join Joe Selvaggi and co-host Josh Archambault, Pioneer Institute’s Senior Fellow in Healthcare, as they talk with Institute for Justice’s Jaimie Cavanaugh about the effects of Certificate of Need laws on the healthcare system.

Interview Guest:

Justice for Freedom


shutterstock_121239673It’s sometimes difficult to adjudicate the the outer boundaries of freedom of expression — for what it’s worth, I prefer to stake as wide a claim as possible — but there shouldn’t be any disagreement over the protection’s core function: to ensure that citizens’ natural right to publicly and freely comment on public affairs goes unmolested. But in a recent and egregious case covered by the Cato Daily Podcast, Colorado resident Tammy Holland was hauled into civil court not once but twice for taking out a series of newspaper ads regarding Common Core and encouraging her neighbors to educate themselves on the matter and the upcoming school board election.

According to the Institute for Justice — which is representing Holland and has a full summary of her case — almost any allegation of campaign finance impropriety in Colorado automatically results in a court case without any discretion from law enforcement. As IJ puts it, this system effectively gives would-be censors the benefit of the doubt, while putting the burden of proof on speakers. It’s a monstrous and shameful inversion of how our political system is supposed to work.

In By the People, Charles Murray described the Institute for Justice as one of the models for his proposed “Madison Fund.” If you can spare a few dollars, there are few worthier recipients of your money. I just made a small donation myself.

Challenging “Policing for Profit” in Pagedale


Mildred Bryant, 84, is one of the Pagedale, MO, residents facing the threat of tickets, fines, and imprisonment for minor HOA-style violations.

How much power does your local government have over you? Can it tell you that your drapes have to match or force you to put screens on your windows? Can it tell you how many people you may have at a barbeque or where on your property your grill can be? Can it make you take down a basketball hoop in your driveway?

More Trouble Brewing, Texas Edition


Alamo_Beer_Near_Hays_Bridge_(2015-03-26_18.18.42_by_Nan_Palmer)On the Right these days, we’re apt to say that, however bad things might be at the federal level, they’re going relatively well within the states — particularly in those places with Republican majorities. But while outliers always exist, it’s hard to square that stereotype with a 2013 Texas law that denies Lone Star breweries that produce more than 125,000 barrels of beer the right to sell the distribution rights for their products. As described by the Institute For Justice, which is representing three breweries in a challenge to the law:

[I]f Revolver Brewing wants to use a distributor to have its beer distributed in Houston, it is required to select one distributor. That distributor will be the only source of Revolver’s beer in Houston, and every bar, restaurant and liquor store will have to buy Revolver from that single source.

Basically, if you’re a small Texas brewery who wants to grow into a medium-sized one, you have to surrender your distribution rights without compensation (though the distributors are welcome to sell the rights to other distributors). More via the Cato Daily Podcast.