Beyond the Brief

Beyond the Brief

Hear about the cases, issues, and tactics advancing IJ’s fight for freedom—directly from the people on the front lines. Beyond the Brief explores the legal theories, strategies, and methods IJ uses to bring about real world change, expanding individual liberty and ending abuses of government power. Each episode gives listeners an in-depth, inside look at how—and why—we do what we do.

Episodes

May 17, 2024 36 mins
Your home is supposed to be your castle. But what about the land your castle sits on?  We discuss why it is that most private land in America gets no protection from warrantless government surveillance. We are joined by IJ attorney and co-director of IJ’s Project on the Fourth Amendment, Josh Windham. https://youtu.be/jN-VEE7fAEs related report Good Fences? Good Luck Released in the Cato Institute’s Regulati...
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What can Americans do if the government retaliates against them for speaking out? Today we're going to discuss real world examples of governments retaliating against citizens for speech they don’t approve of. We are joined by IJ Attorneys Kirby Thomas West and Ben Field. https://youtu.be/Yhji-Uyn23Y
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Does qualified immunity actually accomplish what the Supreme Court intended? Kim Norberg and co-host Keith Neely discuss qualified immunity and how it plays out in the real world. IJ Senior Attorney Bob McNamara and data scientist Jason Tiezzi join to discuss Unaccountable, IJ’s new report that examines qualified immunity by the numbers. The report uses the largest ever collection of federal appellate cases, covering the 11-year...
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Unbeknownst to parents, a portion of their baby’s blood remained unused after a standard screening was complete. And New Jersey had unilaterally decided that it could keep that blood for 23 years. Even worse, New Jersey, along with other states, believed it could use that blood however it saw fit, whether that be selling it to third parties, giving it to law enforcement, or even turning it over to the Pentagon. On today’s episod...
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April 4, 2024 41 secs
Deep Dive is now becoming Beyond the Brief.  We will still bring you the same great IJ-related content as before, but now in a studio setting.  Stay tuned.
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Why so-called Terry stops are a threat to essential Fourth Amendment rights
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In Ohio, wildlife inspectors think that the law gives them permission to come into private businesses without permission—no probable cause or warrant required
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In Virginia, any one of 176 so-called barrier crimes can disqualify a person from work in certain occupations for life—no matter how old the conviction, how unrelated it is to the work the person desires to do, or how little it reflects the person’s fitness today. These laws kept IJ client Rudy Carey from fulfilling work as a substance abuse counselor for people he is uniquely fit to help. In today’s show, we talk about what happen...
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October 21, 2021 25 mins
In Wilmington, Delaware, any car with more than $200 in outstanding fines can be towed by private towing companies. Vehicle owners have no way to contest the tickets or seizure without first paying the city everything it demands in parking tickets, fines, fees, and penalties. If they can’t afford to pay in 30 days, the companies get to scrap their cars and keep their full value, returning nothing to the property owners and not even...
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Before he was IJ’s president, Scott Bullock spent 25 years as an IJ attorney. In this episode, he recounts his years in the trenches as a litigator, from the first case he litigated on behalf of African hairbraiders in Washington, D.C., to arguing at the 5th Circuit that Benedictine monks should be able to earn an honest living selling hand-crafted wooden caskets. Scott also discusses what went into launching IJ’s civil forfeiture ...
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Though Susette Kelo’s fight to save her home from her city’s efforts to take it for a private developer ended in 2005, the fight against eminent domain abuse has continued. In today’s show, we revisit that landmark decision and talk about the aftermath and where the biggest eminent domain battles are happening now, from pretextual takings to “common carrier” seizures. We also discuss Eychaner v. Chicago and other signals that the S...
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In March 2021, FBI agents broke into private safe deposit boxes at the Southern California business U.S. Private Vaults and—though no individual box owner was suspected of wrongdoing—rifled through and cataloged owners’ belongings, then seized the contents. Property owners are fighting back, and in today’s episode, we talk about what happened, all the reasons that the government’s behavior was illegal and unconstitutional, and why ...
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In Episode 30 of Deep Dive, we talked about how fines for harmless property code violations could snowball into six-figure debt. All too often, municipalities set up these “taxation by citation” schemes to bolster city budgets—not protect public health and safety. Schemes like this are rife with due process problems, and in today’s episode, we discuss the way Kafka-esqe code enforcement systems in many cities make it very easy to i...
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This term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Caniglia v. Strom, a case about the “community caretaking” exception to the general principle that police need a warrant before entering a home. In today’s episode, we talk about what the government and the property owner argued in that case and what the Court ruled. We also dig into the history of the community caretaker doctrine and the biggest current threats to Fou...
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After Sandy Martinez got a ticket from Lantana, Florida, for parking her car with its wheels slightly outside her driveway and on the grass in her yard, she didn’t know that she was being fined a whopping $250 per day by the town. Weeks later, when she learned about the fines, the bill had accrued to an eye-watering $101,750, and she realized that a harmless code violation had brought her to the brink of financial ruin. In today’s ...
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When IJ client Abdallah Batayneh tried to open a resort shuttle service in rural Colorado, his application was denied by a state regulatory agency at the same time it assured him that he was “operationally, managerially, and financially fit” to run his company. In today’s episode, we discuss how Abdallah became the victim of an outrageous legal regime that many states erected to protect existing businesses at the expense of new sta...
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What does it mean when courts apply “strict scrutiny” in their review of a law? Why do property, economic, and other vital liberties get only “rational basis” review? And why do these things matter to a constitutional litigator? Learn all this and more in today’s Deep Dive with the Institute for Justice.  This episode originally aired October 29, 2019.
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Although Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are hitting the mainstream, the way the law will treat them is still undeveloped. In this episode, we talk about how and whether the First and Fourth Amendments might apply to cryptocurrency, what kind of protection they offer, and ways to make sure the law develops in a way that protects innovation and opportunity.
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When the Institute for Justice filed suit against the so-called predictive policing program in Pasco County, Florida, the Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying that their program is not “in any way, shape or form the ideals or implementations projected in the film ‘Minority Report.'" But in this episode of Deep Dive, we discuss the chilling reality of a program that targets residents for possible future crimes based on a crude...
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Elizabeth Brokamp is a professional counselor who just wants to help people at a time when many Americans need it more than ever. But if the Virginia resident tries to talk with clients just miles away in D.C., she will cited and fined for making a Zoom call. In today’s show, we talk about what she’s doing to fight back, and why her case is a crucial part of the fight to protect free speech.
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