Litigating for Liberty!

July 24, 2023

Oran P. Smith, Ph.D

Senior Fellow

Some of the most significant conservative policy victories of recent years had a litigation element. By that I mean a legal case made its way to the Supreme Court and the side of freedom won.

In the Janus case (2018), the court ruled that public employees cannot be forced to pay agency fees to a labor union. Mark Janus was the petitioner, but his case was handled by a legal resource group, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. A number of organizations filed amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs in support of Mr. Janus.

In the last few days, Palmetto Promise has joined an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court. Our brief, filed by the eminent Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi, is in support of Ursula Newell-Davis.

Ms. Newell-Davis, whom I have met on a couple of occasions, is a Louisianan who attempted to start a respite care organization for the parents of children with special needs but was denied due to Louisiana’s Facility Need Review law. Here is her story.

Yes, we are fighting Certificate of Need (CON) again, but this time in the courts. Our brief asks the Supreme Court to hear Ursula’s case due to the federal Fifth Circuit missing the forest for the trees when it heard her case last December (2022).

We will report back to you when we hear from the high court.

Ursula Davis is a social worker in New Orleans, Louisiana. After being denied for a respite care license, Ursula has taken legal action against the state to change the “certificate of need” laws currently in place and remove barriers so she can care for her local community.