Goldwater Institute

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About Goldwater Institute

Mission Statement

The Goldwater Institute is a leading free-market public policy research and litigation organization that is dedicated to empowering all Americans to live freer, happier lives. We accomplish real results for liberty by working in state courts, legislatures, and communities nationwide to advance, defend, and strengthen the freedom guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and the fifty states. Founded in 1988 in Phoenix with Senator Barry Goldwater’s blessing, the Institute focuses on advancing the principles of limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty, with a focus on education, free speech, healthcare, equal protection, property rights, occupational licensing, and constitutional limits. The U.S. Constitution provides a basic minimum of protection for individual rights, while leaving states free to enact laws that protect those rights more broadly. That’s why we direct our efforts at the states, the “laboratories of democracy,” to introduce innovative ideas that expand freedom. And that’s why we litigate in state courts to defend individual liberty.


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.


We research and develop ideas that help policymakers and activists in all fifty states use their constitutional powers to protect their citizens’ liberties. And when governments overstep their constitutional authority, the Goldwater Institute defends citizens in court.

Year Founded



2006 Roe Award presented to Darcy Olsen (CEO)


Donor Privacy — and Free Speech — Protected in Supreme Court Victory

The Supreme Court this morning struck down the California Attorney General’s demand that nonprofit advocacy groups turn over confidential information about their donors as the price of exercising the First Amendment freedom of speech.

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