Research Reports

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

An African hair braider from Tupelo, Miss., Melony Armstrong successfully challenged an anti-competitive licensing law in her state and has grown into an inspiring economic force who brings hope and opportunity to her community.

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Seattle-area bagel businessman Dennis Ballen’s thriving enterprise was almost driven out of business by a local law that barred him from advertising his business. He joined with IJ to fight for his First Amendment rights…

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

New York City commuter van owner Hector Ricketts battled the politically powerful and heavily subsidized public buses for years. Despite overwhelming odds against him, Hector continues to grow his “dollar van” business.

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

High-tech Dallas entrepreneur Thane Hayhurst helps businesses across Texas keep their computers running at peak efficiency, but he was threatened to be put out of business under a law that effectively requires anyone who conducts…

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Economic Liberty

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Funeral home and cemetery owner Kim Powers Bridges battled bureaucrats in her home state of Oklahoma where she wanted to sell caskets online. Unsuccessful in that fight, she grew a brick-and-mortar business in Tennessee and…

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Five Years After Kelo

On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision called Kelo v. City of New London,[1] ruled that private economic development is a public use under the Fifth Amendment…

Special Needs Vouchers Aid Children and Promote Excellence

Educational Choice

Special Needs Vouchers Aid Children and Promote Excellence

In the previous article, Dr. Corinne Harmon responds to my analysis of the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in Cain v. Horne (Keller, 2009) that struck down two voucher programs for students with special needs—one for…

Mowing Down the Grassroots

First Amendment | Political Speech

Mowing Down the Grassroots

Grassroots lobbying—encouraging citizens to contact public officials in order to affect public policy—is quintessential representative democracy in action. However, as this report documents, sweeping lobbying laws in 36 states threaten to strangle grassroots movements in…

The Florida Supreme Court vs. School Choice

Educational Choice

The Florida Supreme Court vs. School Choice

School choice is the civil rights issue of the twenty-first century. In the Information Age, knowledge is not just power—it is destiny. As a result, no issue more fundamentally divides the “haves” and the “have-nots”…

Bulletproofing School Choice

Educational Choice

Bulletproofing School Choice

This paper brings together the hard-won lessons of IJ’s experiences to help advocates and lawmakers craft effective school choice legislation likely to withstand a legal challenge.

The Regulation of Grassroots Lobbying

First Amendment

The Regulation of Grassroots Lobbying

President Obama’s domestic policies have generated opposition among many in the general public and mobilized previously uninvolved citizens. This opposition has manifested itself in public rallies, “tea party” protests, and spirited feedback at town hall…

Blooming Nonsense

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

Blooming Nonsense

For more than a decade, Monique Chauvin has owned and operated one of the most popular and recognized floral shops in all of New Orleans. Her work is regularly featured in magazines, and her store…

Little Pink House

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Little Pink House

Before there were Tea Parties, there was Kelo. Susette Kelo’s name turned into a movement. Her loss of her property was the final straw for Americans in 2005. When they heard about the Kelo decision,…

Policing for Profit: First Edition

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Policing for Profit: First Edition

Policing for Profit, 1st Edition Published in 2010, this is an older edition of IJ’s landmark Policing for Profit report. You can download the report here, but please see the third and current edition for the most up-to-date…

Other

Getting Beyond Guns

The Fourteenth Amendment represents a deliberate decision by the people of this nation to make the U.S. Constitution—not state constitutions and not state officials— the primary guardian of liberty in America. The purpose of the…

Do restrictions on eminent domain harm economic development?

After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in the Kelo decision the use of eminent domain for private-to-private transfer of property for economic development, public outrage was followed by attempts to restrict such use of eminent…

Other

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the States

District of Columbia v. Heller was an easy case to get right. First, there was the text of the Second Amendment, which plainly states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,…

Empire State Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Empire State Eminent Domain

An analysis of the populations living in areas of New York City under threat of condemnation for private development finds that such eminent domain abuse disproportionately targets those who are less well-off and less educated,…

School Choice and State Constitutions’ Religion Clauses

Educational Choice

School Choice and State Constitutions’ Religion Clauses

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Zelman v. SimmonsHarris, only state religion clauses represent a potential constitutional bar to the inclusion of religious options in properly designed school choice programs. The two most significant…

The National Implications of Cain v. Horne

Educational Choice

The National Implications of Cain v. Horne

This commentary addresses the Arizona Supreme Court’s legal reasoning in Cain v. Horne, which struck down two voucher programs for special needs children pursuant to one of Arizona’s Blaine Amendments and explains that the court…

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…

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

Eminent Domain | Private Property

Building Empires, Destroying Homes

New York is perhaps the worst state in the nation when it comes to eminent domain abuse. Government jurisdictions and agencies statewide have condemned or threatened to condemn homes and small businesses for the New…

Bureaucratic Barbed Wire

Economic Liberty

Bureaucratic Barbed Wire

Texas has a unique heritage of inspiring entrepreneurs. But the state has been restricting the economic liberty long enjoyed by its citizens.

Locking Up Political Speech

First Amendment | Political Speech

Locking Up Political Speech

Americans were once free to speak about politics without asking permission from the government or being forced to document their political activities for the authorities.  But under the guise of “campaign finance reform,” government regulation…

Regulatory Field

Economic Liberty

Regulatory Field

Want to create a job in Chicago? It is not that easy. Especially in such tough economic times, people may be shocked to discover the lengths to which the city of Chicago and the state…

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)…

Eminent Domain | Private Property

The Truth About Times Square

The former chairman and chief executive of New York state’s Urban Development Corporation reveals how Times Square succeeded for reasons that had little to do with government condemnation schemes and everything to do with public…