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What is the Institute of Justice?

Updated on September 22, 2014




I am not sure how I found this site and organization but it is one in which I am glad I did. The activities of this organization are dedicated to protecting the freedoms we have and they concentrate on four pillars: economic liberty, private property rights, school choice and the first amendment. Many individuals may not have heard of this organization but it is one in which all of us should have an interest if we are interested in protecting the freedoms we have. The basic mission of this organization and their four pillars is to advance the rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. The mission statement is provided below:

“Through strategic litigation, training, communication, activism and research, the Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. IJ litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties, and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government. In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers and activists in the tactics of public interest litigation.”

“Through these activities, IJ challenges the ideology of the welfare state and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government.”

The success of their litigation efforts are something for other organizations to envy. Examples of success include four victories out of five cases which reached the Supreme Court. In addition they have a 70% victory rate through their litigation and legislative actions. Getting state legislatures to make changes in the laws of their states is not an easy task to achieve but 47 states protected property rights from eminent domain through legislative reform or state Supreme Court rulings. In addition they achieved the first favorable U.S. appeals court ruling for economic liberty since the New Deal. Their successes did not stop there as they have been awarded 35 national awards for their media relations work, publications and production.

Organizations like the Institute of Justice and Judicial Watch are looking out for us and the freedoms we have. This organization in particular has had great success in protecting and defending the freedoms we have under the Constitution. There are many issues and positions being addressed by our elected officials some actions of which may border on being unconstitutional if not directly being Unconstitutional. Both of these types of decisions should make us as voters angry and that anger should be displayed in the voting results in the upcoming election. We must be careful to make our choices wisely when voting to ensure we elect or reelect individuals who want to honor the Constitution, not ignore it as many have done to date. Both political parties must embrace the Constitution as they have never done before.

One of the liberties which the Institute of Justice focuses on is economic liberty. Economic freedom is one of the most important liberties if not the most important liberties we can have. Currently our economic liberties are hampered by laws and regulations issued by all levels of government. The definition of economic freedom or economic liberty is: “Economic freedom is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life. It’s the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ rights to do the same. While a simple concept, economic freedom is an engine that drives prosperity in the world and is the difference between why some societies thrive while others do not.” This definition was taken from a website called economicfreedom.org and is a wealth of information.

The definition of economic freedom provided above says it all. The opportunity we have or do not have is a result of whether we have true economic freedom. We as individuals and as a country do not have the right conditions in place to have true economic freedom. Granted there may be some logical restrictions to protect the interest of others through laws and regulations. The present culture in Congress is they know best and make decisions for us rather than letting us make them.

The right we have to freedom of speech so eloquently written into the Constitution basically states we have the right to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction. Our freedom of speech along with other rights engrained in the Bill of Rights is constantly being attacked by government if it is something they do not like. This organization is dedicated to protecting the rights contained in the Constitution.

The current level of power of our government seems to be on the increase and this organization again is dedicated to restoring constitutional limits on this power. When the Constitution was being created by our founding fathers they felt a need for a central government but one which had specific powers. Over the years and even decades the reach of our federal government and in some cases our state governments have been increasing. This increase has not been a positive change as can be seen in the decisions being made which have had far reaching impact on our daily lives and the decisions we should be able to make for ourselves. We have lost to a large extent the economic freedom our founding fathers envisioned by the current culture in the federal government and possibly state governments. This is not meant to imply that all state governments are overreaching in their efforts. Some have the best interest of their citizens and have developed a limited government philosophy the concept of which needs to be applied to our federal government. This election year we can support these organizations by voting for candidates who have a record of standing up for the Constitution by their actions. Actions are the key as statements made must be supported by the deeds of individuals wanting to be elected or reelected to their individual positions.

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