Institute for Justice: Totally Worth Your Donations

It's one of the public interest law firms that I admire most.


I just gave some money to the Institute for Justice, a first-rate libertarian public interest law firm. I've long much admired IJ: I've litigated some First Amendment cases, but it's not that hard to win them, given how strong First Amendment protections generally are—IJ, on the other hand, has figured out ways of winning even economic liberties cases, where the degree of difficulty is much higher.

Here's IJ's little pitch, which I'm delighted to pass along, with my full endorsement:

Friends, please give us money. We will use it to sue the government, whether it is arresting a retiree on trumped-up charges after she ran for city council on a reform platform and won, or shutting down a zoning-compliant homeless shelter, or hiding surveillance cameras on private property without a warrant, or preventing ex-offenders from fighting fires, or requiring defendants to purchase ankle monitoring services from a company with political, personal, and financial ties to the judge, or beating up innocent people.

Two generous IJ supporters have pledged to match donations from all new IJ donors dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. There's never been a better time to join our fight for liberty and help protect the Constitution. Double your tax-deductible donation today at

By the way, if you do donate (or have donated in the past), please leave a comment below saying you did, so your fellow readers can see. (No obligation, of course, but I think it might be nice.)

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  1. I donate every year.

    They actually help people instead of pointing fingers and making policy designed to enrich government insiders in the name of helping people.

    1. A free and easy way to donate is to use Amazon Smile. Amazon donates on your behalf without an increase in your cost.

      1. I use smile for Judicial Watch.

        1. Figures you’re dumb enough to fall for a complete grift.

  2. I was sold after reading the first clause in n the second sentence.

  3. I’ve been meaning to do it before now, but now it’s done & monthly. When asked my reason, I blamed you.

  4. Just donated. I hadn’t realized they were a 501(c)(3).

  5. Been giving yearly for a decade. A fine organization.

  6. When Donald Trump elected, I setup up monthly donations the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Then I watched with increasing dismay over the subsequent years as the ACLU strayed from what I had though to be their path- litigate in support of civil liberties.

    It seemed to me as though they have drifted into leftist politics, wavering in their nearly absolutist support of free speech after Charlottesville, and then becoming involved in Bret Kavanaugh nomination brouhaha. I was particularly irked with their opposition to then Judge Kavanaugh, as that opposition was completely unrelated to his civil liberties jurisprudence.

    Last year, I switched my donation – splitting it between the Institute for Justice and the Free Speech Coalition.

    1. I was there with you. I just stopped giving to all but the EFF. Might have to look into the Free Speech Coalition. Thanks for the tip.

      1. I also added the EFF.

  7. IJ gets a cut of all my Amazon purchases through the program.

  8. Sent a donation. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Are they doing anything about the biggest attack on individual liberty, the election prank by Democrat Governors shutting down our economy?

    1. This is my favorite organization in the country. They stand up for the little guy against the government bullies and thieves.

  10. Regular donator for the better part of 20 years. It’s been a real pleasure watching them grow and expand … and of course win!

  11. My son worked for IJ as an intern one summer when he was at UChicago Law.

  12. I’ve also donated for the last several years, and I’m happy to encourage others to do so.

  13. EFF would be another decent choice except for its recent adaptation of TDS.

  14. Just donated after seeing this post.

  15. koff Lani Guinier koff black woman koff equated with welfare mother koff never apologized koff

      1. Always glad to educate younger generations.

        The Institute for Justice made its name by demonizing a black woman and has never looked back.

        1. Wow, you managed to mischaracterize the article that you linked.

          -The institute for Justice didn’t make its name doing that – just because Bolick was associated with them doesn’t make his opinion the Institute’s opinion.

          -Other bits of this controversy i’ve seen suggest that Bolick’s ‘attack’ on Guinier was entirely over her professional views, not personal. I don’t think Bolick has changed his mind either, so why would he apologize?

          -It’s not clear from your article what Guinier’s views actually were, or how accurately Bolick’s portrayal was. Wikipedia says even (president) Clinton found it difficult to defend Guinier’s writings (without enough detail about their content), and that Clinton called them ‘undemocratic’.

          -Guinier ended up at Harvard Law School 4 years afterwards; clearly Bolick’s attack didn’t hurt her that much.

          1. You weren’t around then, obviously.

            I picked one article but a whole lot else was being said by the IJ which hasn’t gone down the memory hole.

            The IJ destroyed a black woman’s career in the federal government, a very big deal in those days.

      2. According to the news story, someone associated with IJ wrote (gasp!) an opinion more than 25 years ago.

        So all those unfortunate people the IJ helps should instead be thrown to the wolves. Because forget about helping anyone when you can instead punish them for someone else’s distant past opinion. It’s the encapsulation of modern leftism in a single comment: 100% mean-spirited score-settling, 0% helping people who need help.

        1. Senator Byrd apologized for being a member of the KKK in his youth. His later career was a testament to the sincerity of his apology.

          No apology forthcoming from the IJ. Translation: they would happily do the same shit again.

  16. Been donating for years and will continue.

  17. I’ve been donating for approximately the past decade. They do good work — and overwhelmingly they manage to do it in ways that don’t communicate partisan valence. We need more public-interest groups that achieve their ends without doing it through very-partisan-looking cases.

  18. After meaning to for years, I recently began donating to IJ and to Pacific Legal Foundation, which does similar work.

  19. I have been donating for a decade or so. Following my own retirement and in anticipation of my wife’s imminent retirement, I opened a charitable gift annuity with them last year. What I like most about them is the emphasis they place on opening up opportunities to learn, work, and live for people who would otherwise be deprived of them because they don’t have and can’t acquire the right political connections.

  20. I’ve been trying to discern a meaningful purpose for these discussions.

    I suppose it is this: If a Supreme Court case like Roe v. Wade gets overturned, do states have to pass new statutes, or can they simply take their existing, unrepealed statutes and start enforcing them? If the questioned is asked this way, it makes some measure of sense.

  21. The Marine Corps is known as a force multiplier–it is small in everything but impact. The Institute for Justice is the Marine Corps of combatants for liberty. This merry band of litigators gets up every morning and goes to work suing governments–federal, state and local. IJ’s motto could be “let no government feel neglected.” In my now 50 years in Washington, no group has so consistently made a beneficial difference.
    George F. Will

  22. I’ve been donating for two years. Well worth it for the service they perform for all of us.

    Paul Bertini

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