President’s weekly report — December 28, 2012

There were only a few developments in this week between holidays. Let us hope that the New Year is a good one for liberty and limited government.

Individual Rights — Equality Under the Law Project

Connerly v. State of California, the Superior Court held that the appointment of members of the California Citizen Redistricting Commission is not covered by Proposition 209’s prohibition against considering race in public employment. The court found that “public employment” in Proposition 209 did not include the Commission’s officers. We disagree and will be taking this one up.

Individual Rights — Commercial Speech

We filed our amicus brief in Spirit Airlines v. United States Department of Transportation. In this case, the United States is limiting how prominently airlines can display government taxes and fees. We argue that so long as the ads are not misleading, the airlines have a free-speech right to prominently display government fees and taxes. The time has long passed for the Court to abandon its distinction between commercial and noncommercial speech — a distinction rooted in neither the language nor the history of the First Amendment.

Free Enterprise Project — Upholding contracts

We filed our amicus brief this week in First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum. At issue is whether parties to an oil-lease contract can agree to waive interest charges while proof of ownership is forthcoming. We believe that parties who freely agree to such terms should be bound by those terms.

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