About the Independence  Institute

A central role of an effective think tank is to produce quality research and analysis. For nearly 30 years we have provided research resulting in changes in law and policy. But we have never been content with just research. We are more than a think tank. We are an “action tank.” We put our ideas into action through groundbreaking litigation, activist training, work on ballot initiatives, new media and investigative reporting. We don’t just fight on paper. We fight for freedom on the streets, in the statehouse, in the media, on the ballot, and in the courts.

Our Mission

The mission of the Independence Institute is to empower individuals and to educate citizens, legislators and opinion makers about public policies that enhance personal and economic freedom.  

Our Vision

The Independence Institute envisions a Colorado where people enjoy:

• Debt-free government

• Flat and transparent tax policy

• Respect for property rights

• Choice in education

• Health care freedom

• Limited Federal intrusion

• An end to corporate welfare

To reach that vision, we must ACT.

Advocate limited government principles over politics.

Connect the Freedom Coalition, because Liberty is a team sport.

Teach the enduring truths of personal and economic freedom.


Our Approach to Public Policy

Because the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of life and liberty are matters of individual choice, the Institute addresses a broad variety of public policy issues from a free-market, pro-freedom perspective.

Through the Institute's Policy Centers, areas of critical importance are addressed with a dedicated focus. The centers allow the public and media access to a concentrated source of expertise on education, taxes, healthcare, the Second Amendment, the U.S. Constitutionthe environment, government transparencytransportation, personal freedom, government reform, local government, and criminal justice.

Unlike other organizations which see government intervention as the only solution, the Independence Institute seeks to explore all alternatives, emphasizing private-sector and community-based solutions. The Independence Institute is recognized by friend and foe alike as one of the most effective organizations at setting a freedom agenda for Colorado and the United States.

Advancement of Institute Ideas

Through a variety of publications and public forums, the Institute provides citizens of Colorado and the nation with specific recommendations to help resolve important issues facing our communities. These issues include improving our educational system, containing health-care costs, widening economic freedom, and controlling violent crime.

The Independence Institute uses a variety of media to share policy ideas with concerned citizens and public servants:

Issue Papers, Issue Backgrounders and Opinion Editorials- The Independence Institute's staff of Senior Fellows conducts and publishes research and analysis on a broad variety of topics related to shrinking government and expanding freedom. Tax limitation, pro-consumer health care reform, transportation, and free-market environmentalism are some of the topics that have received special attention recently. 

Blogs - The Independence Institute staff write a variety of blogs that cover the issues of the day:

  • The Cauldron – provides you with updates about the latest Independence Institute efforts.
  • Ed is Watching – informs you about education issues.
  • Mother’s Against Debt – aims to shift the paradigm from “government spending is for the kids” to “government spending is not a family value.”
  • Patient Power Now – provides daily updates on health care reform issues.
  • Kopel’s Corner – informs you about Constitutional issues with a focus on the Second Amendment.

Devil's Advocate - Television interview program from the Independence Institute. Channel 12, KBDI, Denver. Airtime: Air Time - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and re-broadcast 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The host is Independence Institute President Jon Caldara. In addition, watch Colorado Inside-Out with a public affairs roundtable discussion. Independence Institute Research Director Dave Kopel is a regular participant. Airtimes: 8:00 p.m. Friday. Watch previous episodes on the YouTube.  See a list of archieved shows here.

iVoices - Listen to policy experts on topics effecting your life with our incredible catalog of pod-casts.

Public Events - Public debates, monthly events with issue speakers, legislative briefings, symposiums and weekend conferences are some of the in-person events held for Institute members.

Independence Institute: Internship Program - The Independence Institute has full and part time unpaid internship positions available for fall, winter, spring, and summer. Quarter and semester schedules can be accommodated.








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February 13th, 2016
Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the most eloquent opinion writers in the history of the United States Supreme Court–perhaps the greatest of all. His dissents may have been the most powerful ever written. Justice Scalia was more than an outstanding lawyer: He was an perceptive social commentator. In tribute, I reproduce below his opinion in the [...]