Jon Riches

Vice President for Litigation

Goldwater Institute

Jon Riches

Vice President for Litigation

Goldwater Institute

Jon Riches is the Vice President for Litigation for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation and General Counsel for the Institute. He litigates in federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, taxpayer protections, public labor issues, government transparency, and school choice, among others.

Jon has developed and authored several pieces of legislation, including the landmark Right to Earn a Living Act, which provides some of the greatest protections in the country to job-seekers and entrepreneurs facing arbitrary licensing regulations. He also developed legislation eliminating deference to administrative agencies in Arizona—a first-of-its-kind regulatory reform that can serve as a model for the rest of the country.

His work at the Institute has been covered by national media, including the Wall Street JournalNew York Times, CBS This Morning, Bloomberg News, and Politico. Jon is also a member of the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project: State and Local Working Group.

Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Jon served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. While on active duty, Jon represented hundreds of clients, litigated dozens of court-martial cases, and advised commanders on a vast array of legal issues.

He previously clerked for Sen. Jon Kyl on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, worked for the Rules Committee in the Arizona State Senate, and clerked in the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House. Jon received his B.A. from Boston College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.

Jon served as a presidentially appointed Panel Member on the Federal Service Impasses Panel. He is an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University School of Law. Jon is a native of Phoenix.

A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Regulatory Transparency Project events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on the website does not imply an endorsement or relationship between the person and the Regulatory Transparency Project. The Regulatory Transparency Project takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.


Explainer Episode 34 – Institute for Justice’s “Barriers to Business” Report

March 2, 2022

Andrew Meleta and Alex Montgomery joined Jon Riches to discuss how cities can better attract and support entrepreneurs.

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Deep Dive Episode 108 – Regulating Home-Sharing and Home-Based Businesses

April 28, 2020

In this episode, Brooks Rainwater and Jon Riches discuss developments in state and local regulations surrounding home-sharing and home-based businesses. How do we balance safety and public goods with innovation and entrepreneurialism?

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Explainer Episode 5 – Arizona’s Licensing Reform

October 2, 2019

What are the costs and benefits of occupational licensing? Why do many believe that the laws around licensing ought to be reformed, and what has Arizona been doing to address these concerns? Jon Riches of the Goldwater Institute gives an overview of this issue as it has played out in the Grand Canyon State.

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Regulating Planesharing: A Conversation on Regulation and Innovation

May 23, 2018

In a world of drone delivery and self-driving cars, do innovation and regulation need to be at odds with one another? Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and a variety of other experts weigh in on this critical discussion.

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Deep Dive Episode 30 – Arizona Dumps Deference: The Beginning of the End for Chevron?

May 1, 2018

Philip Hamburger (Columbia Law School) and Jonathan Riches (Goldwater Institute) discuss Arizona’s recent passage of legislation eliminating Chevron deference in Arizona state courts, how this new law might change state agency rulemaking and enforcement, and whether this law can serve as a model for the rest of the country, and the federal government.

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Regulating Planesharing: Exploring Common Carriage and Expense Sharing

February 12, 2018

The legal fate of Flytenow, a ridesharing platform for small planes, was sealed by the FAA’s determination that it acted as a common carrier despite Flytenow’s claim that it was engaged in permissible expense sharing. What are common carriage and expense sharing? A variety of experts discuss the legal aspects of the Flytenow case.

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Regulating Planesharing: Flytenow and the FAA

January 8, 2018

Flytenow, founded by Alan Guichard and Matt Voska, was a ridesharing platform for small planes. Hailed as the “Uber of the Sky,” Flytenow aimed to serve as an online bulletin board to connect pilots of small planes with those willing to offset the pilots’ costs. However, the FAA deemed the online nature of Flytenow to be impermissible and Flytenow was unable to take flight. Learn the story of Flytenow in this Fourth Branch video.

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Deep Dive Episode 4 – “Uber of the Sky”: The Story of Flytenow

July 13, 2017

Alan Guichard (Flytenow) and Jonathan Riches (Goldwater Institute) discuss how Alan’s innovative ridesharing platform for small planes was outlawed by the FAA.

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