Our Mission & Vision

Sutherland Institute is a nonpartisan policy and educational institution – a think tank – that informs the public and policymakers alike. Our mission is to advance principled public policy that promotes the Constitutional values of faith, family and freedom and remains true to the belief that every generation must recommit to the principles that make us free.


Governing values:

Sutherland is committed to the individual, social, economic and constitutional importance of: 











“That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

~ President Abraham Lincoln

Research & Insights

New teacher guidelines would strengthen their standing

Lawmakers should be commended for bringing forward proposals to support the parent-teacher partnership through increased curriculum transparency.

Sutherland Institute statement in support of improved curriculum transparency

Presented before the Education Interim Committee by Stan Rasmussen, Sutherland Institute vice president of government affairs: We appreciate Senator Lincoln Fillmore’s and the committee’s efforts to address this important matter of curriculum transparency. … The proposed legislation admirably strengthens the parent-teacher partnership.

Judicial review and the infamous Dred Scott case

Chief Justice John Marshall, who established the practice of judicial review, was replaced by Roger Taney, a loyalist of President Andrew Jackson, in 1836. To the degree Taney is remembered, it is for the infamous decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Solving our civic challenges: A Q&A with Andy Smarick

“Today’s political discourse is misleading us about our state of affairs, making us believe that things are far worse than in fact they are,” says Andy Smarick of the Manhattan Institute. He urges localism, among other things, to reestablish Americans’ sense of community.

A tangle of legislation, executive action, and litigation over abortion

Encouraging legislative lawmaking over judicial lawmaking, as President Dallin H. Oaks did in a recent speech, is a sound prescription. Unfortunately, at present the courts play an outsize role in defining legal guarantees of religious freedom.

Civic commitments are an intrinsic part of American national holidays

In our minds, we usually link Thanksgiving and other holidays with the things that are most important – gratitude, family, friends and tradition. But there’s more: Underlying each of our shared national holidays is a civic commitment.

Learning about America through primary sources: The 13th-15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution

The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were enacted during the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction (1865-1877). Together, they were an attempt to establish and protect Black Americans’ constitutional and civil rights in the post-slavery period.

Supreme Court’s power over states was slow to develop

The Supreme Court’s power to invalidate state laws was slow to develop, as shown by what happened after an 1832 ruling that recognized the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation: The court’s decision was ignored by state and federal officials, whose subsequent actions led to the Trail of Tears.

Supreme Court update on 4 religious freedom cases

Sutherland’s Bill Duncan updates the four religious freedom cases that he previewed at the beginning of the current Supreme Court term. They are a good illustration of the important role of the court: In deciding which cases to take and which it avoids, it modifies the law in practice if not in fact.

Oversimplification of Virginia election results could hinder student learning

The reaction to Virginia’s recent gubernatorial election is an example of the tendency to oversimplify the interpretation of an election into a basic political narrative. Such oversimplification could hinder curriculum transparency.



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