Anthony Sanders

Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement


University of Minnesota Law School in 2004

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. He educates the public about the proper role of judges in enforcing constitutional limits on the size and scope of government through various means, including live events, books, articles, and podcasts.

One area of Anthony’s expertise is on using state constitutions to protect individual rights. He is the author of the 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. He has published opinion pieces in leading newspapers across the country and has been a contributor to various journals including The Unpopulist, the Brennan Center’s State Court Report, Discourse Magazine, and Arc Digital. 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 concerning state constitutional protections in various state courts, 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, the American Society for Legal History, and the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society. 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 Events

Anthony’s research

Anthony’s interviews and speeches

Short Circuit 328 | A Modest Proposal

It’s a Short Circuit Live, recorded at the Institute for Justice’s annual law student conference! Patrick Jaicomo is your host, and he brings along IJ’s […]

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More Podcasts

Anthony’s latest writing

The Supreme Court Is Controversial Because It Is Choosing Controversial Cases

The UnPopulist

Where Does the Law Come From? 

Arc Digital

Some Reflections on a “Right to Volunteer” 

Discourse Magazine

Anthony's Cases

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Anthony's Amicus Briefs

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Anthony's News, Articles & Publications

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