Until 35 years ago, Americans were without a powerful voice to speak out on their behalf against the abuses of big government and group-based special interests. Specifically, citizens were without an advocate in the courtroom to uphold the core values and principles underlying our constitutional republic. The result: increased government intrusion in our lives, assaults on free enterprise, and regulatory infringements on private property and individual rights. The accomplishments of so-called public interest groups that emerged during the 60's only furthered the deterioration of the moral and constitutional fabric that holds this nation together. On March 5, 1973, Pacific Legal Foundation opened its doors with a very small staff, a handful of contributors, and a dedicated board of trustees. All shared a vision reflected in PLF's mission statement: Pacific Legal Foundation is America's trusted champion of constitutional rights, fighting and winning decisive actions in the courts of law and the court of public opinion to rescue liberty from the grasp of government power. Our nation is founded on the ideal of a free and ordered society where liberty is nurtured by the rule of law. Our Constitution enshrines this principle, and our traditions as a free people burden us with a moral obligation to act now to preserve our heritage of freedom for future generations. Through PLF individuals resist what Thomas Jefferson called the natural progress of things: for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. PLF's ferociously dedicated and highly skilled legal team is distinguished for its winning record, its strong strategic sense of direction and its unwavering commitment to the principles of freedom. PLF is renowned for battling those who would tread on individual liberty; for confronting government bureaucrats who confiscate private property rights; for opposing government programs that grant special preferences on the basis of race and sex; and for challenging misguided environmental laws that degrade human values.
PLF litigates in three major areas:
PLF believes that rights and liberties are ascribed to individuals, not groups. PLF believes that individuals should be responsible for their actions and that the proper role of government should be limited to the preservation of individual rights and liberties. PLF fights vigorously for the elimination of government-sponsored racial and gender discrimination in public education, contracting, and employment. PLF also has been a leader in defending term limits, civil liability reform and education reform, opposing unfair tax policies, and supporting welfare and immigration reform. Property Rights:
Private property is the essential institution of a free society. If we are to maintain a free society, we must steadfastly defend the right of individuals to make reasonable use of private property, especially when these rights are threatened by our own government. Whether the issue is unreasonable denial of a permit or outrageous mitigation demands, PLF actively defends the rights of property owners to make reasonable use of their property. Environmental Law:
PLF's Environmental Law Practice Group operates under the premise that good law should start with people. No one wants dirty air or polluted rivers. But, the need for environmental regulations that displace jobs, homes, and other social values must be verified through careful, complete scientific study. PLF opposes laws and regulations that endanger or degrade human values and fights to assure that bureaucratic policies do not become the tools of those more interested in government control of society than protection of the physical environment.