(Here is the latest edition of the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit newsletter, written by John Ross.)
One difficulty with litigating civil forfeiture is that the government can return seized property and render cases moot before courts render a definitive judgment. So, argues IJ Attorney Anya Bidwell in the Texas Tribune, reform should involve state and federal legislators.
Heather Kokesch Del Castillo is a privately certified health coach who ran a successful business, creating individualized diet and exercise plans for her clients, until last May. But Florida regulators (tipped off by a local dietician) threatened her with a year in jail — per customer — unless she gets a license. Licensing is especially burdensome for military spouses such as Heather; there’s no guarantee she’d even still be in Florida by the time she finished the schooling necessary to get the license. Last week, she filed a First Amendment challenge, arguing that Florida officials have no business forbidding her from speaking to paying customers. Read more about the case here.