You & IJ Have Made A Difference
By Beth Stevens
“No other group or charitable investment I know of matches IJ in terms of change per dollar invested.” This was the sentiment one of our supporters recently conveyed to IJ President Chip Mellor. It is certainly a terrific compliment, and one we strive to realize every day, so you can rest assured that we’re not about to begin resting on our laurels; we will continue to judiciously spend every dollar that our donors contribute. A quick perusal of the sidebar (Rescued Dreams: Tangible Results for Liberty shows the measurable accomplishments that we have achieved with your support. Getting this far was no small feat. When the Institute opened its doors in September 1991, the law was squarely against us. Economic liberty was the forgotten civil right. “Choice” did not connote providing parents the opportunity to send their children to a safe, high-quality school. And state and local governments routinely ran roughshod over constitutional rights by abusing eminent domain and civil forfeiture, and restricting free speech. The Institute for Justice was created specifically to change that state of affairs. Before launching IJ, our founders brought together the top thinkers and scholars in each area—economic liberty, property rights, freedom of speech and school choice—to develop constitutional blueprints for changing the law, and we continue to draw on insights from those blueprints to this day. It’s this strategic approach that enables us to continue to achieve significant, measurable progress as the sidebar at right illustrates. Consider, for instance, the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court victory in the Cleveland voucher case, which removed the federal constitutional cloud that had surrounded school choice since its earliest days. Or consider our success on behalf of Pastor Nathaniel Craigmiles when we secured the highest federal court ruling since the New Deal upholding the right to earn an honest living. Likewise, multiple victories on behalf of small businesses and other organizations enabled us to bring to the fore the importance of keeping commercial and political speech free. And in our eminent domain litigation we have a string of victories that have beaten back state and local governments in their attempts to take property from one private owner to hand over to other, more politically powerful, private parties. We here at the Institute draw strength from knowing that we’re not only improving the lives of our clients every day, but also that we are, step by step, changing the law so that each of us is more free to run our own lives. As you think about what IJ means to you, I hope you will take a moment to pat yourself on the back, because without your support, none of this would have been possible. And while you’re at it, please also consider sending in a year-end contribution of whatever amount you can so that we can continue in the months to come to take on—and win—even more cases securing the American Dream! Thank you very much, and best wishes from all of us here at IJ for a very happy holiday season.
Beth Stevens is the Institute’s director of development.