Sutherland Institute

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The Sutherland Institute
Motto Responsible Citizenship
Formation 1995
Founder Gaylord K. Swim
Type Public policy think tank
Headquarters Gateway Tower West, 15 West South Temple, S-200
Chairman and Interim President[1]
Stanford D. Swim
Revenue: $1,424,010
Expenses: $1,414,353
(FYE June 2013)[2]

Sutherland Institute is a conservative public policy think tank located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Institute was founded in 1995 by Utah businessman and philanthropist Gaylord K. Swim.


Sutherland Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization, which is the IRS tax designation for a non-profit that is eligible for tax deductible donations. According to the Institute's website, Sutherland does "not perform contract work or accept government grants."

The Institute's name is derived from George Sutherland. Sutherland was the first and only Utahn to have served on the United States Supreme Court. Sutherland also served as a United States Senator prior to being appointed to the bench in 1922. Sutherland was founded in 1995 by Gaylord K. Swim. Swim was a noted Utah businessman and philanthropist.[3]

Paul Mero served as president from 2000 until 2014, when he stepped down at the board's request.[4]

Policy positions[edit]

LGBT policy[edit]

In late 2005, Sutherland contacted 232 local Utah governments with a proposal for a resolution whereby cities would state their support of Sutherland's definition of the family as a man, woman, and children. One city, Kanab, Utah, accepted and enacted the resolution, which drew controversy.[5][6]

Immigration policy[edit]

In May 2008, Sutherland issued two reports on illegal immigration in Utah, Onus or Opportunity: Conservatism and Illegal Immigration in Utah.[7] Utah's Citizens and Illegal Immigrants: Side-by-Side [8] These reports drew both criticism[9] and praise[10] from various groups in Utah.

Education policy[edit]

Sutherland has advocated for greater educational freedom and less reliance on taxpayer-funded schools.[11]

In March 2007, Utah became the first state to pass a universal school voucher law. The law was quickly challenged and overturned by referendum vote in November 2007. During the run-up to the November referendum election, Sutherland issued a publication,[12] Voucher, Vows, & Vexations,[13] that presented the institute's view on the history of education in Utah. Sutherland released a subsequent companion article in a peer-reviewed law journal[14] as part of an academic conference about school choice.[15]

Acting within the framework of this center, Paul Mero teamed up with Daniel Witte, lead attorney for Sutherland's effort, to publish a book called "Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Liberty, Paternalism, and the Redemptive Promise of Educational Choice", which focuses on the historical evolution of the Parental Liberty Doctrine.[16]

Limited government[edit]

In February 2007, Ed Feulner announced the creation of Sutherland's Center for Limited Government. Area of focuses for the center include transparency in government,[17] spending limitations, and federal land use in Utah.

Economic policy[edit]

The Institute's policy research on Utah's economy has focused issues such as health care and property tax reform. In 2004, the Institute first made the case for Utah adopting what Sutherland terms Charity Care,[18] which calls for a more robust system of charity care as a method to provide care for the uninsured. Allan Carlson is currently serving as the director of the Center.


  1. ^ "Our Staff". Sutherland Institute. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Quickview data". GuideStar.  See also "Charity Rating". Charity Navigator. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Riley Roche, Lisa (2014-08-26). "Paul Mero steps down as head of Sutherland Institute". Deseret News. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Perkins, Nancy (March 2, 2006). "Family resolution divides Kanab". Deseret News. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Detham, Leigh (April 6, 2006). "'Natural family' resolution is called 'exclusionary'". Deseret News. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Salt Lake City Weekly - Salt Lake City's Independent Guide To News, Arts & Entertainment - Think Tank Attack
  12. ^ Sutherland Institute | Vouchers Vows & Vexations
  13. ^ Deseret Morning News | Voucher foe in 'lion's den'?
  14. ^ Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Liberty, Paternalism, and the Redemptive Promise of Educational Choice, 2008 BYU Law Review 377
  15. ^ Law School Conference on School Choice
  16. ^ Mero, Paul T.; Daniel E. Witte (2008). Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Liberty, Paternalism, and the Redemptive Promise of Educational Choice. Brigham Young University Law Review. 
  17. ^ S.B. 38 Substitute Bill Documents - 2008 General Session
  18. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′08″N 111°53′30″W / 40.7690°N 111.8916°W / 40.7690; -111.8916