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Announcing Our New Development Manager

April 14, 2014  |  Posted in: Blog  |  No comments

Libertas Institute continues to grow—earlier this year we hired our policy analyst, and I’m excited to announce that beginning today, we have a new development manager: Holly Jensen!

Holly grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, where she learned to love politics and American history. She studied political science at Brigham Young University, focusing on political philosophy and international relations. Holly participated in BYU’s Washington Seminar program where she had direct interaction with government and industry leaders on national issues and current political events. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2013, just three years after she started her undergraduate studies.

Holly has internship and employment experience within the federal government, political campaigns, and Utah business. Her work with Libertas Institute will focus on donor relations, events, fundraising, marketing, and communication. Holly’s passion for freedom, combined with her educational background and talents, will be an effective and exciting combination for our work.

Curious to know more? Send Holly an email at


It’s “Stupid” to Rely on Judges to Protect Our Rights

March 25, 2014  |  Posted in: Blog  |  One comment

During a recent public event, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court was asked about the NSA’s surveillance programs, made public through the leaks provided by Edward Snowden. 

While conveying concern about judges being asked to decide questions dealing with national security, Scalia replied, ”It’s truly stupid that [the Supreme] court is going to be the last word on [the constitutionality of NSA surveillance].”

We agree that it’s stupid. Lawyers in black robes, in their unelected positions as judges, have steadily weakened the constitutional protections originally intended under the 4th amendment. And the reliance by the citizenry upon the opinions of these lawyers as the last best hope of protecting our rights has been proven, time and time again, to be misplaced and naïve.

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The End Goal of the Common Core

March 21, 2014  |  Posted in: Blog  |  3 comments

Whether you love or hate the Common Core, it’s important to understand the end goal its architects have been striving for. Once Utahns realize what that goal is, we suspect few will be willing to support its use in this state.

In 1995, the National Governor’s Association invited Louis Gerstner to speak at the their annual meeting. Gerstner was CEO of IBM, and a longtime advocate of education reform. “You are the CEOs of the organizations that fund and oversee the country’s public schools,” he told the assembled governors. “That means you are responsible for their health. They are very sick at the moment.”

The following year, Gerstner held his own education summit for governors, telling them that ”if they come, he would pair them with a major corporate executive from their state… to back them with strong support” for the reforms he advocated. Attendees at this summit pledged to support these reforms, and afterwards a group of CEOs and governors founded Achieve, Inc. to drive the reform movement.

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Why Do We Care About Common Core?

February 19, 2014  |  Posted in: Blog  |  No comments

The following is a transcript of the remarks shared by Connor Boyack at this week’s anti-Common Core rally at the Utah Capitol.

We care because we support parental stewardship in education — the ultimate local control.

Michael Novak, a prolific cultural commentator, once wrote: “Between the omnipotent state and the naked individual looms the first line of resistance against totalitarianism: the economically and politically independent family, protecting the space within which free and independent individuals may receive the necessary years of nurture.”

Our organization fights for life, liberty, and property in Utah. Because we are concerned about liberty, we are concerned about preserving the ability for families to raise free and independent individuals. Education, of course, is central to this process. Dictators throughout history have recognized this and used compulsory education to propagandize the rising generation. One of the more popular of these dictators once said, “He… who owns the youth, gains the future.”


The 2014 Real State of the State

January 30, 2014  |  Posted in: Blog  |  One comment

Last night, Governor Herbert delivered his “State of the State” speech for 2014. Key themes included economic development, clean air, education, population growth, and state sovereignty.

Towards the end, the Governor encouraged government officials to “renew our commitment to the principles of good governance, of fiscal prudence and of individual responsibility”—a call to action that we can readily stand behind. Unfortunately, mere commitment is not enough; Utah needs to see consistent application of these principles to effect any noticeable change in the size and scope of government, and more importantly, the freedom of each Utah resident.

In a similar article last year, we outlined a lengthy and foundational snapshot of the state of affairs in Utah. Of course, nothing has changed in the past 12 months, and therefore that snapshot remains an accurate depiction of how things stand in 2014. This year’s article will therefore highlight key developments of interest that have occurred over the last year.

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