Scholarly Articles

School Choice and the Law

Educational Choice

School Choice and the Law

In 2009, the Journal of School Choice presented a special issue on school choice and the law, guest edited by Institute for Justice Director of Strategic Research Dick Carpenter. In this introduction, Carpenter explains that…

Attack Ballot Issue Disclosure Root and Branch

First Amendment

Attack Ballot Issue Disclosure Root and Branch

For years, the lower federal and many state courts have given short shrift to the First Amendment rights of those who wish to contribute money to groups that advocate the passage or defeat of ballot…

First Amendment | Political Speech

Mandatory disclosure for ballot initiative campaigns

This research examines some of the assumptions inherent in discussions of campaign-finance disclosure laws as they relate to ballot issues. Specifically, it tests the theory that mandatory disclosure contributes to “better” (that is, more informed)…

Davis v. FEC and the Constitutionality of “Clean Elections” Systems

First Amendment

Davis v. FEC and the Constitutionality of “Clean Elections” Systems

In a “clean elections” system, taxpayer funded candidates must agree to limit their campaign spending. Imposing limits on campaign spending for candidates who forego taxpayer dollars and instead run traditional campaigns would be unconstitutional. Most…

SpeechNow.org and the Paradox of Buckley v. Valeo

First Amendment

SpeechNow.org and the Paradox of Buckley v. Valeo

The right to free speech, including the right to speak out about who should be elected to public office, is a fundamental American right, essential to democratic debate. So, too, is the right of individuals…

One Test, Two Standards

Economic Liberty

One Test, Two Standards

Most of us have a drawer or a closest in our home where we put things that are not important enough to have their own place but are not quite worthless enough to throw away…

No Such Thing

Economic Liberty

No Such Thing

The original legal definition of insanity is the inability to tell right from wrong.1 So it is the first irony of the “rational” basis test that it is, according to that definition, insane. The word…

The Past Should Not Shackle the Present

Educational Choice

The Past Should Not Shackle the Present

In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court ruled that school voucher programs in which parents choose which schools, including religiously affiliated schools, their children attend do not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The consequences…

Other

Judicial Abdication and the Rise of Special Interests

Interest group politics is a problem that has plagued American government since the nation was founded. The Constitution itself was drafted and adopted in large part because of the intractable problems that interest group politics,…