New Lawsuit Asks Whether State Agents Can Trespass and Place Cameras on Private Land in Tennessee

New Lawsuit Asks Whether State Agents Can Trespass and Place Cameras on Private Land in Tennessee

Camden, Tenn.—Terry Rainwaters lives, farms and hunts on the 136 acres he owns along the Big Sandy River in rural Tennessee. It’s clear that the farm is private property, with a “no trespassing” sign on the gate. Yet agents of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) ignored that warning, entering his property to set up and retrieve cameras that they used to watch for hunting violations. Now, Terry and another property owner, Hunter Hollingsworth, are teaming up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to sue the TWRA, asking the court to protect their right—and the rights of all...

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Homeowners Seek Rehearing in House-Destruction Case

Homeowners Seek Rehearing in House-Destruction Case

Arlington, Va.—If the government needs to destroy your home to build a freeway or a school, the Constitution entitles you to just compensation. But what if the government needs to destroy your home for some other reason—say, to capture a fugitive who has randomly taken refuge in your house while fleeing the police? Does the government owe you anything? Shockingly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held in a ruling this October that as long as the government uses its “police power” to destroy property, it cannot be required to provide compensation for that property under the...

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New Report Nations Largest Forfeiture Program Fails To Fight Crime

New Report Nations Largest Forfeiture Program Fails To Fight Crime

A new Institute for Justice study (PDF) finds the nation’s largest forfeiture program does not help police fight crime. Instead, the study indicates police use forfeiture to boost revenue—in other words, to police for profit. The IJ study, “Fighting Crime or Raising Revenue? Testing Opposing Views of Forfeiture,” combines local crime, drug use and economic data from a variety of federal sources with more than a decade’s worth of data from the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program. Equitable sharing lets state and local law enforcement cooperate with the Drug Enforcement...

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Virginia Couple Sues to Protect Their First Amendment Right to Teach

Virginia Couple Sues to Protect Their First Amendment Right to Teach

In Virginia, you can teach anyone anything—except how to earn an honest living. That’s the lesson Jon and Tracy McGlothian learned when they tried to open a school to teach job skills to adults in their Virginia Beach community. Yet the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has made it virtually impossible for them to do so legally. SCHEV says that Jon and Tracy can’t teach skills like project management or sewing without its permission; permission the council has refused to grant for more than two years. That’s why Jon and Tracy have teamed up with the Institute for Justice...

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