The Institute for Justice’s Center for Judicial Engagement (CJE) educates the public about the proper role of the courts in enforcing constitutional limits on the size and scope of government. Since its founding in 2011, CJE has worked to change the way Americans think about and talk about the role of judges in our system of government. We are offering a cutting-edge alternative to the tired, counterproductive language of “judicial activism” and “judicial restraint.”

  • We are changing public discourse about the role of the courts. Since the publication of former IJ Senior Attorney Clark Neily’s pathbreaking book, Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government, the call for engagement has received extensive media attention, including commentary in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and in columns by George Will.
  •  We are introducing a consistent, principled approach to constitutional law into the academy. From the beginning, CJE has been on the road, at law schools and on college campuses, debating the proper role of judges in enforcing the Constitution, holding symposia, and working with students.
  • We are changing the way judges approach constitutional cases. For example, for the first time in decades, courts are applying meaningful review in economic liberty cases. They are not doing so consistently—yet—but we aim to change that.

We can help you understand how and why judges have abdicated their responsibility to protect our rights, the tragic consequences of that abdication for ordinary Americans and how judicial engagement can protect the full measure of freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. To learn more about our vision, read our Declaration and our Principles of Engagement.

“In America, those in government are our servants, not our masters. Judges as servants of the people have a duty to ensure that people’s servants in the legislature not exceed the proper scope of their just powers.  IJ’s Center for Judicial Engagement is spearheading the effort to restore the judiciary to its vital role in securing the liberties of ordinary Americans.”

Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, and Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, Georgetown University Law Center