Claremont Institute


natural rights

– Sketch of CCJ Founding Director John C. Eastman arguing before the Supreme Court


First Principles

Whether it’s speech, religion, federalism, or the separation of powers, we are rapidly losing our Founders’ vision. For over a century, the federal government has steadily grown beyond its proper limits, intervening in ever more aspects of life and delegating increasing authority to an unaccountable administrative state. 

The Courts Have Aided and Abetted the Growth of Government

Instead of serving as a check on this unconstitutional growth of government, the federal courts have too often aided and abetted it. Under the progressive doctrine of the “living Constitution,” judges have cast aside that document’s limits on government power. And a misguided commitment to “judicial restraint” has prevented the courts from reining in the federal bureaucracy. Not since 1935 has the Supreme Court struck down an act of Congress for unconstitutionally delegating lawmaking power to unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats. 

A Claremont Solution: A Center for the Restoration of Constitutionalism

The mission of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence’s is to restore the constitutional protections created by our Founding Fathers. This means fighting to uphold the Constitution’s guarantees of natural rights—such as the Second Amendment, property rights, and the right to life—as well as working to restore the Constitution’s structural protections of our liberty—such as the separation of powers, non-delegation, and enumerated powers.

Federal overreach in areas such as health care, environmental protection, and immigration enforcement has created an extraordinary number of litigation opportunities which the Center advances by pursing strategic litigation from initial complaint all the way through to Supreme Court review.

Think of the Center as a corrective to the legal establishment’s contempt for American principles of natural right and limited government—the principles of the Framers of the Constitution. In addition to our litigation work, we hold seminars, run legal clinics, and oversee the John Marshall Fellowship, which trains the next generation of judges and legal scholars.

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