Invest in Liberty, Invest in IJ

December 1, 2002

December 2002

By Beth Stevens

At a time when there’s uncertainty in the stock market, there’s one place where your investment is sure to pay off: the Institute for Justice.

Just think of the tangible results for liberty that we’ve achieved in the past year thanks to the generous financial support of people like you.

Our most high-profile success, of course, was the school choice victory this summer on behalf of thousands of Cleveland schoolchildren and their parents before the U.S. Supreme Court. With the support of our donors, IJ was able to play an integral role in the strategic team effort advancing choice. And now that we have resolution on the federal Establishment Clause question, we return to the states where, as Clint and Dick explain on pages 6 and 7, the ultimate fate of choice will be decided. It’s shaping up to be a very busy year for our school choice team and we are looking forward to the coming months with a keen sense of excitement.

We also chalked up critical wins on the property rights front. We secured an outright victory for small-business owners in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, a trial court victory for Matt Dery and his neighbors in New London, Connecticut, and a complete capitulation by our opponents in our case on behalf of the Archie family in Canton, Mississippi. All of these wins helped to underscore the real-life consequences of eminent domain abuse and move the ball forward in our fight to secure this important part of the American Dream.

In our economic liberty litigation, we forged ahead with cases on behalf of clients Juanita Swedenburg in New York, the Reverend Nathaniel Craigmiles in Tennessee, and Kim Powers in Oklahoma. The goal of our economic liberty litigation is to reinvigorate the right to earn an honest living as our Founding Fathers intended, and we have made much headway over the last several years, with victories in Washington, D.C., Denver, Las Vegas and San Diego. Now we await with cautious optimism the outcomes of our current cases. Regardless of the results, we’re prepared to take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to once and for all vindicate each American’s right to earn an honest living.

Finally, regarding free speech, we advanced important cases in Arizona and Michigan. In Arizona, we followed up our win last December challenging the coerced components of the so-called Clean Elections Act with a stunning 3-0 victory in the state court of appeals. The Arizona Supreme Court reversed that decision, so we’re now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for review of the case to vindicate the First Amendment rights of all Arizonans. In Michigan, we represent our longtime friend and ally, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, against harassment brought by the state’s teachers’ union. Kramer’s article on page 2 gives a great overview of what is at stake in this case.

The coming year holds many opportunities to advance liberty. From school choice and private property rights to economic liberty and free speech, the Institute for Justice will continue to advance a rule of law under which we all can control our own destinies as free and responsible members of society. Your support is integral to our success and will go a long way toward ensuring tangible results for liberty in the months to come. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution of whatever level you can today.

It just might be the best investment you make all year. Thank you so very much.

Beth Stevens is IJ’s director of development.

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