Claremont Institute

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The Claremont Institute
Logo of the Claremont Institute.png
Formation1979; 41 years ago (1979)
Ryan Williams [1]
Key people
John C. Eastman, Charles R. Kesler, Ryan Williams[1]
Revenue: $5,588,691
Expenses: $4,972,703
(FYE June 2016)[2] Edit this at Wikidata

The Claremont Institute is an American conservative think tank based in Upland, California. The institute was founded in 1979 by four students of Harry V. Jaffa.[3] The Institute publishes the Claremont Review of Books, as well as other books and publications.


The institute was founded in 1979 by four students of Harry V. Jaffa, a professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate University, although the Institute has no affiliation with any of the Claremont Colleges.[3] The institute came to prominence under the leadership of Larry P. Arnn, who was its president from 1985 until 2000, when he became the twelfth president of Hillsdale College.[citation needed]

The current president is Ryan Williams, who previously served as the organization's Chief Operating Officer from 2013 until being named president in September 2017.[4] Williams succeeded Michael Pack, who served from 2015 to September 2017.[citation needed]

The Institute’s stated mission “is to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.”[5]

The conservative National Review said in 2020 that "Claremont stands out for beclowning itself with this embrace of the smarmy underside of American politics," although it noted that "many conservative institutions and individuals have adjusted their standards and long-proclaimed principles to accommodate Trump and Trumpism." Slate magazine in 2020 called the institute "a racist fever swamp with deep connections to the conspiratorial alt-right," citing as examples a 2019 fellowship granted by Claremont to Pizzagate enthusiast Jack Posobiec. [6] and the publication of a 2020 "birther" essay by senior fellow John Eastman. The organization was an early defender of then-candidate Donald Trump; the Daily Beast stated Claremont has "arguably has done more than any other group to build a philosophical case for Trump’s brand of conservatism."[7]

The Institute also publishes the Claremont Review of Books, as well as other books and publications, including reprints of Jaffa's works.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the institute received between $350,000 and $1 million in federally backed small business loans from Chain Bridge Bank as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The group stated it would allow them to retain 29 jobs.[7][8]



The Institute publishes the Claremont Review of Books, a quarterly journal of political thought and statesmanship founded in 2000. The CRB is edited by prominent scholar and Institute mainstay Charles R. Kesler and features regular columns by Boston College faculty member Martha Bayles, as well as novelist and journalist Mark Helprin.

The Institute also publishes, The American Mind, an online publication “dedicated to the ideas that drive our political life.” Claremont Vice President of Education, Matt Peterson serves as editor; and James Poulos serves as executive editor.[9]


The Claremont Insitute has several programs, including the Publius program, the Lincoln fellowship, and the John Marshall Fellowship,[10]

More recently Claremont has come under heavy criticism "for beclowning itself with [an] embrace of the smarmy underside of American politics" by giving the Lincoln Fellowship to figures such as Pizzagate promoter Jack Posobiec, talk radio host Mark Levin, and Delaware politician ("not a witch") Christine O'Donnell former California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, now a vice president with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, political commentator Carol Platt Liebau, editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez [11][12][13]

The Claremont Institute gives out the Ronald Reagan Freedom Medallion. 2010 Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle received the medallion in 2004, a year after she hired John C. Eastman of the Claremont Institute to fight the Supreme Court decision when then Governor Kenny Guinn sued the Legislature to nullify the state constitution and allow a simple majority of the legislature to pass an $836 million tax increase in Angle v. Guinn.[14] In 2006, the state supreme court reversed its 2003 decision and restored the Nevada Constitution's two-thirds vote provision.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Leadership". The Claremont Institute. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Claremont Institute" (PDF). Foundation Center. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Trump speechwriter's ouster sparks racially charged debate". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  4. ^ "Claremont Institute Announces Ryan Williams As New President". The Federalist. July 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Claremont Institute | Mission". Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Trump's Small Biz Rescue Bailed Out Kushner's Family, Obama's Aides and Other Political Elite". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  8. ^ Syed, Moiz; Willis, Derek. "CLAREMONT INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF STATESMANSHIP & POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - Coronavirus Bailouts - ProPublica". ProPublica. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  9. ^ "About". The American Mind. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  10. ^ "John Marshall Fellowship". Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  11. ^ "Former Lincoln Fellows". Claremont Institute. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  12. ^ Charen, Mona (12 July 2019). "Claremont's New Class of Fellows Would Make Its Founders Weep". National Review Online. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  13. ^ Heilbrunn, Jacob (2019-07-18). "National Conservatism: Retrofitting Trump's GOP with a Veneer of Ideas". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  14. ^ "541 US 957 Angle Nevada State Assembly Member et al. v. Guinn Governor of Nevada et al". Open Jurist. March 22, 2004. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  15. ^ Whaley, Sean (September 12, 2006). "Court reverses opinion from '03". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2010.

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