Research Reports

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

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

Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use…

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.

Campaign Finance Red Tape

First Amendment

Campaign Finance Red Tape

Twenty-four states permit citizens to make laws directly through ballot measures. These states also regulate how citizens—if they band together—may speak out about them. In the name of “disclosure,” these regulations impose complicated registration and…

Locking Up Political Speech

First Amendment

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…

Expanding Choice

Educational Choice

Expanding Choice

School choice enjoys strong support among Montana residents, and of choice options, tax credits enjoy the greatest level of popularity. Such programs grant tax credits to taxpayers who donate to nonprofit organizations that give scholarships…

Choice and Opportunity

Educational Choice

Choice and Opportunity

On February 29, 2008, Gov. Bobby Jindal presented the Louisiana Legislature with a proposed budget allocating $10 million for a school choice initiative that would enable parents in New Orleans to send their children to…

Expanding Choice

Educational Choice

Expanding Choice

One of the oldest and more popular forms of school choice in the United States is educational tax credit. Like many other types of school choice, educational tax credits enable parents to send their children…

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…