About Ethan Blevins

Ethan Blevins is an attorney with PLF's College of Public Interest Law. He works primarily on property rights and environmental regulation in PLF's Northwest Regional Office.

Is tolerated freedom really freedom at all?

More and more, we have to receive government permission to exercise basic rights. This subverts a fundamental notion of liberty: first comes freedom, then comes government to secure that freedom. We’ve begun instead to slip into a world in which any … Continue reading

Can government regulate your subconscious?

Today, we filed a legal challenge against Seattle’s heavy-handed attempt to squash its residents’ “unconscious bias.” A new Seattle ordinance forbids landlords from choosing their own tenants in a sweeping effort to prevent subliminal prejudices from tampering with their decisions. The … Continue reading

Bureaucratic overreach and the separation of powers

Can federal agencies make up whatever policies they like unless Congress tells them not to? PLF answered an emphatic “no” in an amicus brief filed today to support a petition to the Supreme Court. In National Restaurant Assocation v. Department … Continue reading

Public schools need reform, not more money

In the recent confirmation hearing held for Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Democrats fulminated over public school funding. “Can you commit,” Senator Patty Murray asked, “that you will not work to … cut a single penny … Continue reading

Slavery has ended, but we still have work to do

We ended slavery over 150 years ago today. It was a formative and controversial moment. But we rarely see the Thirteenth Amendment–which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude–invoked today as a means of securing liberty. Is it relevant to the issues we … Continue reading

Still presumed guilty after exoneration

Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes, wrote a letter to Santa one year: “Dear Santa, this year, please bear in mind that I should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Also, I would encourage you to interpret ‘reasonable doubt’ as broadly … Continue reading

Wanted: Courts that stand up to government bullies

Should courts defer to democracy? Many do. In fact, most constitutional challenges face an uphill battle because courts hesitate to question the judgment of legislatures. In a brief filed today in the North Carolina Supreme Court, we explain how this judicial restraint … Continue reading

Seattle’s plans to fix your “unconscious bias”

Seattle has decided to force landlords to accept the first prospective tenant that walks through the door. Why? Because you may be a racist and not even know it; your unconscious biases could control your rental decisions. Seattle is not content … Continue reading