Among other things, I have learned from researching and then writing a musical about our 1787 Constitutional Convention that, of course, the delegates debated and even fought about many issues at that convention: the rights of big states versus small; to have a standing army or not; whether the federal government should have control over the states and, if so, in what areas; and, of course, slave states or free?  But the one thing that ALL delegates agreed upon was that THE most important function of government was to protect our freedoms and liberties against the encroachment of government.  (The second most important was our security.)  So how far have we strayed from our Founders’ primary objective of government?  Suffice it to say that our Founders would be deeply disappointed in us.

But there is a group that is doing our Founders proud in fighting for and upholding our Liberties, and that is the Institute for Justice.  Since 1991, IJ has successfully taken on cases at no charge to the litigants to keep the government from unduly condemning people’s land without even having a purpose in mind for its later use; forfeiting a man’s $42,000 truck based upon a conviction involving about $200 worth of illicit drugs; requiring people to have a government license before they can work as tour guides; enforcing a term of probation that prohibited a defendant from writing a book about how the Securities Exchange Commission over-prosecuted his own case; and upholding parents’ ability to choose where government money would be spent for the education of their children, even if it happened to be at a religious school.  This group, and several others like it, deserve our praise and our support.  So, if you wish to join me in thanking and supporting IJ, please visit its website at, and join me in supporting it at 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22203.  I don’t often use this column specifically to suggest helping a particular organization, but IJ merits that exception.

Quote for the week: “Character is what you do when no one else is watching.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -UCLA’s Great Basketball Coach Johnny Wooden

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President