Clint Bolick

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Clint Bolick is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and also serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arizona.  Previously he was the director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation in Phoenix.

A legal pioneer in a number of areas, Bolick is perhaps best known for his leadership in defending state-based school choice programs. He has argued and won significant cases in both state and federal courts, winning school choice victories in the Supreme Courts of Wisconsin, Ohio, and Arizona, as well as in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris before the Supreme Court of the United States. Bolick has also set landmark precedents defending freedom of enterprise and private property rights and challenging corporate subsidies and racial classifications.

Before joining the Goldwater Institute in 2007, Bolick was cofounder of the Institute for Justice and former president of the Alliance for School Choice.

Bolick helped author the Health Care Freedom Act and the Save Our Secret Ballot amendment, both of which were added to the Arizona Constitution in 2010 and adopted in several other states. He also has assisted policy activists in several states in establishing litigation centers based on the Goldwater Institute model.

Bolick is the author of several books, most recently Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), Death Grip: Loosening the Law’s Stranglehold over Economic Liberty (Hoover Institution Press, 2011) and David’s Hammer:The Case for an Activist Judiciary (2007). Other publications include Leviathan: The Growth of Local Government and the Erosion of Liberty (Hoover Institution Press, 2004) and Voucher Wars: Waging the Legal Battle over School Choice (2003).

The recipient of many honors, Bolick was named one of three Lawyers of the Year in 2003 by American Lawyer. In 2006, Bolick was the recipient of a Bradley Prize for excellence in “strengthening American democratic capitalism.” In 2009, Legal Times named Bolick one of the “90 greatest Washington lawyers of the past 30 years.”

Bolick received his law degree from the University of California at Davis in 1982 and his undergraduate degree from Drew University in 1979.

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Recent Commentary

Clint Bolick, the director of the Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation at the Goldwater Institute
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Clint Bolick: The Supreme Court in Transition—What Issues Are in Play?

with Clint Bolickvia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How will the Supreme Court change with the new justices?

Policy InsightsFeatured

Policy Insights: Immigration Reform

featuring Edward Paul Lazear, Timothy Kane, David R. Henderson, Tom Church, John H. Cochrane, Lanhee J. Chen, Clint Bolick, Richard A. Epsteinvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Immigration is a contentious topic. To complicate it further, immigration should often be broken down into several distinct topics. It can mean legal or illegal immigration, it can mean permanent or temporary visas, and it can mean preventing future flows or managing existing stocks.

In the News

Scalia V. Epstein - 35 Years Later

quoting Richard A. Epstein, Clint Bolickvia Reason
Sunday, March 17, 2019

At the Federalist Society Student Symposium this weekend, Arizona State Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick recalled the 1984 debate between then-judge Antonin Scalia and Professor Richard Epstein over whether the federal judiciary should take a more active role in protecting economic liberty. Professor Epstein, as one might expect, argued in the affirmative. Then-judge Scalia (who would be elevated to the Supreme Court soon thereafter) urged greater restraint, suggesting it would be dangerous to unleash federal judges in this way.


A Tattooed Libertarian On The Arizona Supreme Court: Clint Bolick's Long Fight For Freedom

interview with Clint Bolickvia Reason
Friday, March 15, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Clint Bolick talks about his legal philosophy, the politics of immigration, the most interesting case he's encountered on the bench so far, and why he sports a scorpion tattoo on what he calls his "typing finger."

In the News

Court: It’s Legal To Tax Rental Cars To Fund Stadiums

quoting Clint Bolickvia Arizona Capitol Times
Monday, February 25, 2019

There’s nothing illegal about taxing tourists renting cars in Arizona to pay for sports complexes in Pima and Maricopa counties, the state Supreme Court ruled today. All seven justices agreed with the state Department of Revenue that it’s legally irrelevant that the majority of the tax is paid by out-of-state visitors. They said that does not make it illegally discriminatory.

In the News

A Libertarian Litigator Dons The Judge's Robes

featuring Clint Bolickvia Reason
Monday, February 4, 2019

Clint Bolick, a co-founder of the Institute for Justice, was for years one of the libertarian movement's most successful trial lawyers.

In the News

Justice In A Free Society

quoting Clint Bolickvia Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MI)
Thursday, January 31, 2019

The new year has ushered in fresh opportunities to solve the pressing issues of our times. Criminal justice reform is no exception, especially given the increased attention it has received lately from organizations across the political spectrum.

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Fidelity to the Constitution

by Clint Bolickvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Textualism holds that judges enforce the Constitution and not their own preferences. It may seem a mere legal theory, but our freedoms depend on it.

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Let the States Incubate

by Clint Bolickvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

Where it’s allowed to thrive, federalism keeps American governance nimble and innovative.

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The Case For Legal Textualism

by Clint Bolickvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

There are many philosophies of legal interpretation, but only one that best safeguards the rule of law and the Constitution.