Civil Rights & Constitutional Law

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Tonkon Torp has been involved in litigating complex civil rights and constitutional issues on behalf of business and individual clients.  Our work includes challenges to state and local regulation under the Commerce Clause; challenges to local, state and federal regulations under the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; claims for compensation under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Oregon Constitution; claims and defenses based on federal pre-emption of state and local law under the Supremacy Clause to the United States Constitution; and employment and contractor claims arising under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Oregon Constitution, and federal and state civil rights statutes. Additionally, many of our litigators handle pro bono Civil Rights and Civil Liberties litigation as cooperating attorneys for the ACLU Foundation of Oregon, Inc. and CLiF Project.

Our representative cases include:

  • American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. Oregon Dept. of Transport., 339 Or 554 (2005), cert. denied, 548 U.S. 903 (2006). We represented the AAA Oregon/Idaho defending attacks by the American Trucking Associations against Oregon's heavy truck tax system. The Oregon Supreme Court held that the tax did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Lanier v. City of Woodburn, 518 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. 2008). Successful Fourth Amendment challenge, at trial and on appeal, of City's pre-employment drug testing program as applied to plaintiff. 
  • Moss v. United States Secret Service. We represent plaintiffs in an ongoing action against Federal, State, and local government agents alleging viewpoint discrimination and excessive force in connection with the dispersal of a peaceful protest against the President during the 2004 election campaign. 2007 WL 2915608 (D.Or. Oct 07, 2007), reversed in part, appeal dismissed in part, 572 F.3d 962 (9th Cir. 2009), on remand, 750 F.Supp.2d 1197 (D.Or. 2010), affirmed in part, reversed in part, 675 F.3d 1213 (9th Cir. 2012), petition for rehearing pending.