The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all fifty states.
With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a "watchdog for conservative ideals" that plays an "outsized role" in American political life.
In the Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote that federal and state governments, each with explicit protections for liberty, would provide a “double security” for the people. Alexander Hamilton argued that if either government violated the peoples’ rights, they could “make use of the other as the instrument of redress.”
The Goldwater Institute leads the nation in employing state constitutions to check and balance Washington and restore freedom. The U.S. Constitution provides a floor for freedom, not a ceiling. State constitutions can augment freedoms far above the federal baseline.
When the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated private property protections in Kelo v. City of New London, the solution didn’t come from Washington. Instead, 45 states strengthened their own constitutional protections and construed them far above the Fifth Amendment’s low federal bar.
When the Obama administration threatened to impose card check on American businesses, the solution didn’t come from Washington. Instead, the Goldwater Institute designed robust state laws that are now protecting millions of workers.
With 200 legislative, ballot box and recent court victories to our name, the Institute has earned a reputation as a principled, effective voice for liberty: freedoms that provide terminal patients new hope through access to potentially life-saving investigational medicines, freedoms so families can choose schools that challenge and prepare their children for the future, economic freedoms that lower taxes, and simplify regulations to accelerate small business growth, and freedoms that create greater prosperity for all Americans.
“That’s one of the wonderful things about the Goldwater Institute," writes Jonah Goldberg, Editor at Large for National Review. “It’s not just about preserving liberty. It’s about expanding happiness. It’s about actually getting people to live the way they want to live.”
The Goldwater Institute’s mission is based on principle, not partisanship or personalities. Our attorneys boast a perfect win rate in the United States Supreme Court, and an exceptionally strong victory rate. The Institute is home to some of the nation’s greatest experts in journalism, law and public policy including two Bradley Award winners and recipients of the Roe Award, the American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. The Institute has also received multiple honors as a taxpayer watchdog.
The Goldwater Institute has a broad base of public support. No single individual or entity provides more than ten percent of our revenue, ensuring our independence. Charity Navigator and GuideStar, America’s largest independent charity evaluators, have awarded the Goldwater Institute the highest possible marks. Click here to get involved.