We all know that many bad things are happening here and around the world, and we get hit in the face with news about those often terrible things every day. But we should also understand that many good things are happening as well. So if I owned a newspaper, every day I would publish a story in the left hand column of the front page about something good that is happening. And one of those stories would be about the Institute for Justice. This is a non-profit public interest law firm with the mission to litigate in state and federal courts all across the country to end government abuses of power when they occur and secure the Constitutional rights that allow all Americans to pursue their dreams. So what types of cases does IJ bring? Litigation to support people whose homes are being taken by eminent domain so that larger entities can enter and bring in more tax revenues to the governments. Cases to stop seizures of people’s cash, cars, trucks and other property without charging those people with a crime (otherwise known as “Policing for Profit”), and then requiring those people to sue the governments in order to attempt to get their property back. Cases to reduce licensing requirements for people to pursue an honest living in occupations such as cosmetology, hair braiding, being an auctioneer or making recommendations over the internet about how people can best take care of their pets. And cases in situations where governments require people who want to create a new business to procure the agreement of other existing businesses with whom they propose to compete.

I knew about these cases being brought, so I have been contributing to IJ for years. But I also learned this past weekend at an IJ Retreat about many sophisticated additional ways that IJ pursues its mission. For example, IJ changes public opinion by making available to many media sources the stories of the truly sympathetic people who are being victimized, and IJ also uncovers or creates detailed studies about how, for example, seizing people’s property does not decrease crime or requiring people to spend large amounts of time and money to procure these occupational licenses does not increase the quality of the services, but instead increases their prices by reducing the competition for them. As a result, IJ’s actions often cause governments not only to change their practices, but also fundamentally to change away from those laws and restrictions. So that is why I thought our 2 Paragraphs Family would like to be informed about the Institute for Justice. For more information please visit

Question that occurred to me this past weekend: Is our country pursuing Justice, or just ice?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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