Helping Fund Our Liberty Quest

May 1, 2001

May 2001

Helping Fund Our Liberty Quest

By Deborah Simpson

We anticipate that the end of our fiscal year on June 30, 2001, will mark this as IJ’s most successful year yet.  Thanks to the unwavering generosity of our supporters, we have had wonderful successes over the ten years since IJ opened its doors.  All of that dedication and our hard work has led us to this very exciting time in our quest for liberty, when we are poised for U.S. Supreme Court review of school choice, are building a string of pathbreaking legal precedents protecting economic liberty, and are attacking head-on abuses of eminent domain throughout the country.  Please make a contribution by June 30, 2001, to help IJ at this important moment.  Consider some of the successes your last investment in IJ has helped make possible over the past year.

We started this fiscal year with a challenge—creating, training and honing the skills of an almost entirely new development team, who were taking over from the seven-year steward of IJ’s development efforts, John Keppler. Thanks to an expertly crafted program, patient guidance and lots of hard work we can proudly say that we have overcome the challenge and things are running smoothly.

During that same time, our litigators have been on an amazing winning streak.  In school choice, we convinced state court judges in Illinois that the state’s tax credit program is constitutional.  In Florida, the state appellate court upheld the opportunity scholarship program, and in Ohio we litigated our school choice case so that it is poised for possible Supreme Court review next term.  In economic liberty, we set an important precedent in our Tennessee casket case so that Rev. Nathaniel Craigmiles and our other clients can continue to operate their businesses selling discounted caskets without state licensure.  In the fight to defend private property rights, we secured the return of Carol Thomas’s improperly seized automobile and thwarted the Mayor of Pittsburgh’s plan to condemn and take through eminent domain a large section of the Fifth and Forbes area of downtown.

These victories have also set the stage for what we anticipate will be next fiscal year’s successes.  We recently filed three new eminent domain cases in New York, Connecticut and Mississippi that will bring our property rights mission one giant step closer to securing full constitutional protection for private property.  We  filed our second casket case, this one in Oklahoma, which will build on the groundbreaking precedent for economic liberty set in the Tennessee case.  And we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will accept review of our Ohio school choice case so that 2002 will be the year when the constitutional cloud over choice is finally lifted.

Please help us match our litigation success with equal financial success.  We need such a commitment so we can stand toe-to-toe and emerge victorious against our well-funded adversaries.  Our fiscal year ends June 30, 2001.

Please give generously today!

Deborah Simpson is the Institute for Justice’s Managing Director.

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