Paring Back Leviathan, One Case at a Time

In an email this morning, Institute for Justice President William “Chip” Mellor was crowing, and rightly so, about IJ’s latest win for economic liberty – a decision by Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Jane Carroll striking down the city’s 20-year-old taxicab law prohibiting competition in the taxi market. That adds one more city to the string: IJ’s attorneys have brought an end to similar taxi monopoly statutes in Denver, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis.

What caught my eye here, however, was the attorney who won the case, Anthony Sanders, working out of IJ’s Minneapolis office. Back in the summer of 2002, after his first year of law school, Anthony did a bang-up job at Cato helping us put together the very first volume of the Cato Supreme Court Review.

But that’s hardly the only IJ/Cato connection. The one I’m most proud of goes back to 1989 and my very first summer intern, Scott Bullock, now an IJ senior attorney. Just last January Scott won an important civil asset forfeiture case up in Boston – that’s an obscure issue we’ve worked for years to bring to the fore. And in March, Scott won a crucial Fifth Circuit economic liberty case, resulting in a circuit split on the issue and hence a good chance that the Supreme Court will at last revisit its jurisprudence concerning this “second-class” right.

We train ’em, Chip sends ’em out to do battle in the courts, and little by little we pare back Leviathan.