Our Mission

Advancing the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution by increasing transparency within Congress and the 50 state legislatures.

How We Accomplish It

Constructing scorecards for the leading liberty-minded organizations and bringing the movement together through our research and technology.

The Problem

Our Government Today Versus the Government Our Founding Fathers Established in 1789

When our nation’s founding fathers ratified the U.S. Constitution on March 4, 1789, they championed a government that was accountable to the people with limited powers and duties. For that reason, they implemented a system of checks and balances in an attempt to restrain government growth and power to prevent the tyranny that plagued all previous institutions. Because of their commitment to protecting free markets, property rights, individual liberties and equal application of law – core tenants of limited government – America became the most powerful and prosperous nation in world history.

While the document they drafted 234 years ago may technically still exist, our nation’s adherence to the core tenants of limited government and the Constitution does not. Within recent years the size and scope of our government has exploded. Just this past year the federal government spent $6.27 trillion (over $19,000 per person) which does not include the over $3 trillion state and local governments spent. This drastic growth of government resulted in a $1.5 trillion budget deficit, and has further ballooned our national debt to $31 trillion, representing a 50% increase in just 5 years. Unfortunately, this unsustainable amount of debt represents only a small fraction of our country’s real fiscal time bomb – federal and state unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare – which coupled with state debt, exceed $200 trillion. This means that the average family of four must chip in $2.6 million dollars just to cover our existing debt and liabilities. Not only do we not need this level of government, we simply can’t afford it.

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

– Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The ILA’s Work

Returning our Country to the Limited Government our Founding Fathers Envisioned

The only way to return to a limited government grounded by the U.S. Constitution is through our lawmakers. But the reality is a number of Americans don’t know who represents them – especially at the state level – let alone how their elected officials vote. And it may be for good reason. After all, how is the average person expected to track all of the bills that are voted upon and dissect the countless complex policies that are introduced each year?
Fortunately, there is a very real solution – legislative scorecards. These tools break down complex bills into short summaries while recording how each lawmaker voted. As a result, any individual can easily comprehend all of the policies that were voted upon and where their lawmakers stand. Scorecards have been deployed successfully by countless business and lobbying groups to pass bills at both the federal and state level. Scorecards have also been utilized by some organizations to measure adherence to different political philosophies, oftentimes rating lawmakers on hot-button social and cultural issues like abortion and gender. However, while political scorecards may evaluate some limited government principles, they are often biased to the select beliefs of the individuals constructing them, or changes that occur within their political philosophy, such as certain events or the people leading their movement.
It was for this reason that the ILA was established. We are building the nation’s most advanced legislative scorecard, a scorecard with only one agenda – measuring each lawmakers adherence to the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution. And unlike previous scorecards that have been tied to particular people or evolving political philosophies, the guiding philosophy of this scorecard dates back to March 4, 1789.  

Serving as the “Data Hub”

Building Scorecards for Advocates of Limited Government

To lead the construction of this revolutionary new scorecard platform, the ILA enlisted the original architects of the nation’s first and only 50-state comprehensive scorecard produced at the American Conservative Union. These individuals are utilizing a decade of experience they each gained while building the ACU rating system to develop the new ultimate scorecard – the Limited Government Index (LGI). With over 38,665 votes the LGI’s congressional application has more unique sampled roll calls than the federal scorecards produced by over a dozen of the leading national policy groups – combined. The team is also taking the policy analysis within the LGI to the next level, as every bill or vote rated includes an in-depth analysis of its contents and how the measure aligns with or against the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution. 
It is at the state level that the ILA plans to have its greatest impact. Here it is largely a mystery as to where each of our country’s 7,383 state lawmakers stand on policy. This will require the ILA’s team of policy analysts to utilize a limited government and constitutional lens to evaluate the over 100,000 bills introduced across the 50 state legislatures in order to provide an individual rating for every single state lawmaker.
However, this monumental battle to restore our country’s commitment to limited government and the Constitution cannot be won by just a single organization. Rather, it is going to take an army of organizations that are committed to limited government principles and are all working together for us to achieve victory. That is why the ILA will be sharing all of its research and data with each of its allies fighting for limited government. Through the Limited Government Index Scorecard Platform (LGISP) the ILA will produce scorecards for each of its allied conservative and liberty-minded organizations that are based on each organization’s particular policy positions and priorities. As a result, ILA’s allied organizations will now be able to issue “key vote alerts” ahead of their scorecard releases to more effectively lobby our nation’s 8,000 federal and state lawmakers, as well as ignite their activist bases and voters.
By executing the above process, and through our movement working together, we can once again make government accountable to the people. And most importantly, shift our country back to its limited government and constitutional roots that our founding fathers so heavily championed on March 4, 1789.

“An informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.”

– Thomas Jefferson

The Research Process

A legislative scorecard is only as good as the bill evaluation, sampling and the research behind it. Fortunately, the ILA team has some of the foremost experts in state legislative policy, bill analysis and vote extraction, including multiple individuals who previously spent a decade at the ACU constructing the first and only comprehensive 50-state scorecard program.

The ILA’s research process consists of multiple steps to ensure every key bill, amendment and procedural vote is properly analyzed and rated. The ILA team reviews bill testimony, fiscal notes and text, shifts through hundreds of thousands of pages within legislative journals, monitors local media reporting, and consults with local policy experts that follow the legislatures. Additionally, all policy analysts are specially trained to navigate the unique legislative procedures of the 50 state capitols to select the correct votes and bill versions. 

The work requires expertise within hundreds of different policy fields. Additionally, commercial platforms are limited in their ability to correctly extract every hidden procedural motion and amendment within a number of state legislatures, requiring specialized knowledge and vote extraction capabilities, which the ILA has developed and constantly updates. 

The ILA’s end goal is to provide the most accurate and representative sampling of every key issue that has been voted upon within each legislature, which is ultimately incorporated into the LGI and provided to each of ILA’s limited government allied organizations.


Bills Reviewed


Policy Summaries Produced


Votes Extracted


Lawmakers Rated


Limited Government Index (LGI)

The platform that allows liberty-minded organizations to construct their own scorecards for congress and all 50 state legislatures.


Allied Organizations







Contact Us

For press inquiries contact press@limitedgov.org. Please email all other inquiries to info@limitedgov.org or through the form below.

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Mailing Address

Institute for Legislative Analysis
300 Independence Ave, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003