Anthony Sanders

Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement

Anthony Sanders is the Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement (CJE) at the Institute for Justice and a senior attorney. He joined IJ in 2010. As CJE’s director, he educates the public about the proper role of judges in enforcing constitutional limits on the size and scope of government. As a senior attorney he litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting economic liberty, private property, freedom of speech and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts across the country.

One area of Anthony’s expertise is on using state constitutions to protect individual rights. He is the author of the forthcoming book, published by University of Michigan Press, Baby Ninth Amendments: How Americans Embraced Unenumerated Rights and Why It Matters. He has also written several law review articles on state constitutional law, unenumerated rights, judicial review, economic liberty, property rights, international law, and other subjects. Many can be found on his SSRN page. His work has appeared in publications such as the Iowa Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, American University Law Review, and Rutgers Law Review, and he has published opinion pieces in leading media outlets across the country. He also often posts at the CJE Blog, especially on state constitutional law where he regularly features with his “State Con Law Case of the Week.” Further, he frequently speaks to various audiences on these matters and others, including judicial engagement, free speech, civil forfeiture, and the continuing importance of Magna Carta. Additionally, he hosts the weekly Short Circuit podcast, which often records live in front of law student audiences.

Anthony has litigated several cases in various state courts on state constitutional protections, as well as in federal courts on matters such as economic liberty, free speech, administrative law, and fines and fees abuse. Prior to joining IJ, Anthony served as a law clerk to Justice W. William Leaphart on the Montana Supreme Court. Anthony also worked for several years in private practice in Chicago where he was an active member of the Chicago Bar Association and chaired its Civil Rights Committee.

Anthony received his law degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004, where he served as an articles submission editor for the Minnesota Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the Federalist Society, the Selden Society, and the American Society for Legal History. A dual U.S. and U.K. citizen, Anthony grew up on the islands of Vashon in Washington State, and Alderney in the British Channel Islands.

Anthony’s publications

Baby Ninth Amendments

How Americans Embraced Unenumerated Rights and Why It Matters

Listing every right that a constitution should protect is hard. American constitution drafters often list a few famous rights such as freedom of speech, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and free exercise of religion, plus a handful of others. But there are an infinite number of rights a constitution could protect. However many rights are put in a constitution, others are going to be left out. So what is a constitution drafter to do? Luckily, early in American history a few drafters found an easier way: an “etcetera clause.” It states that there are other rights beyond those specifically listed. The most famous etcetera clause is the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Yet scholars are divided on whether the Ninth Amendment itself actually does protect unenumerated rights, and the Supreme Court has almost entirely ignored it. Regardless of what the Ninth Amendment means, however, things are much clearer when it comes to state constitutions. Two-thirds of state constitutions have equivalent provisions, or “Baby Ninth Amendments,” worded similarly to the Ninth Amendment.

Anthony’s research

Anthony’s interviews and speeches

March 30, 2023

Short Circuit 265 | Time Travel

Wouldn’t it be fun to own a time machine? If you said yes then you’re a lot like the Fifth Circuit. Last week its full […]

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More Podcasts

Anthony's Cases

Economic Liberty | Food Freedom | Wine

Minnesota Farm Wineries Fight for Free Trade

A little-known but onerous state law prevented Minnesota vineyards from making a majority of their wine from grapes grown outside Minnesota. IJ partnered with two vineyards to fight this law, and eventually a federal district…

Private Property | Rental Inspections

Red Wing Rental Inspections

Under Red Wing, Minn.’s rental inspection ordinance, it is easier for the government to force its way into the homes of law-abiding citizens than to search the home of a suspected criminal.

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Anthony's Amicus Briefs

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Anthony's News, Articles & Publications

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