Keep Cato independent

Last week it looked as if the Koch v. Cato lawsuit, which directly affects me as a Cato senior fellow, was going to be something I’d need to refrain from discussing lest I endanger the institute’s legal interests. But now Cato has now itself gone public with a Save Cato page laying out the case for its continued independence.

If you haven’t yet caught up with the furor, some places to start are (besides the earlier-linked Jonathan Adler, Don Boudreaux and Steve Chapman) David Boaz, the Charles Koch Foundation’s side, Alison Frankel/Reuters, Marie Gryphon, Trevor Burrus, Brink Lindsay, and Julian Sanchez. Among those who disagree with Cato’s point of view but value its independence are Ezra Klein, the Boston Globe, and numerous others.

I was a source for Katy Waldman’s Slate “Explainer” today on how think tanks work. Last fall I wrote an appreciation of the wonderful Bill Niskanen, who served for so long as Cato’s chairman.

I’ll soon have set up a page on the controversy, to be updated with new links. In the mean time there’s a Facebook group, and an account and hashtag on Twitter.


  • Alas, that after so much good work Cato should find itself a potential victim of overlawyering.

  • I disagree with most of what comes out of Cato and this blog because we disagree on the scope of the role government should play. But I read this blog for the this well said reasoning set out by Ezra Klein:

    “When I read Cato’s take on a policy question, I can trust that it is informed by more than partisan convenience.”

    Which is more than I can say for 98% of the political commentators out there on both sides.