Tim Keller


Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Arizona Office

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Tim Keller serves as the Institute for Justice Arizona office’s managing attorney. He joined the Institute as a staff attorney in August 2001 and litigates school choice, economic liberty, and other constitutional cases in state and federal court.

Tim led the Institute’s defense of Arizona’s individual scholarship tax credit program in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, which culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court victory. Tim also successfully defended Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account Program, a publicly funded education savings account program he helped design.

In addition to defending educational choice programs in Arizona and nationwide, Tim has helped knock down barriers to entrepreneurship on behalf of eyebrow threaders in Arizona, African hair braiders in Arizona and Utah, and florists in Louisiana.

Tim received his law degree from Arizona State University where he was a member of the National Moot Court team. Before that, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Arizona State University, graduating magna cum laude. Prior to starting law school, Tim worked as a research assistant at the Goldwater Institute, a state-based free market public policy organization.

Upon graduation from law school, Tim clerked for the then-Presiding Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, Robert D. Myers. After leaving the Superior Court, Tim accepted a clerkship with the Honorable Ann A. Scott Timmer on the Arizona Court of Appeals. Tim and his wife Lisa have four sons, Daniel, Benjamin, Ethan, and Noah. He spends his free time taking care of his family and reading a book a week.

Current Cases

In the News

Research and Reports

  • September 7, 2017    |    Scholarly Articles

    In this article, Nat Malkus and Tim Keller outline the federal laws that protect students with disabilities, give an overview of school choice programs, and explain how participating in school choice programs affects the rights of students with disabilities. They summarize arguments against students with disabilities participating in school choice programs and offer counterarguments and…

  • August 23, 2017    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    Educational choice programs—defined broadly as programs that provide parents financial aid to opt their children out of the traditional public school system—have been a topic of significant public discussion and debate in recent months. Despite the increasing news coverage, however, polls show that most Americans are unfamiliar with educational choice programs. Opponents of educational choice…

  • December 1, 2012    |    Strategic Research

    Arizona’s Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture

    Dangerous for law enforcement; Dangerous for Arizonans

    Arizona’s civil forfeiture laws need to be reformed. In the upside-down world of civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize and keep cash and property that was allegedly involved in criminal activity—without ever proving a crime was actually committed. Unlike criminal forfeiture, with civil forfeiture a property owner need not be found guilty of a…

  • June 1, 2010    |    Strategic Research

    Special Needs Vouchers Aid Children and Promote Excellence

    A Response to “Beyond Cain v. Horne”

    In the previous article, Dr. Corinne Harmon responds to my analysis of the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in Cain v. Horne (Keller, 2009) that struck down two voucher programs for students with special needs—one for children with disabilities and the other for children in foster care. Harmon believes my constitutional analysis is in error because…

  • December 14, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    This commentary addresses the Arizona Supreme Court’s legal reasoning in Cain v. Horne, which struck down two voucher programs for special needs children pursuant to one of Arizona’s Blaine Amendments and explains that the court both failed to apply a straightforward textual analysis and ignored the analytical framework its prior precedents had properly established. The…

  • February 1, 2009    |    Scholarly Articles

    In a “clean elections” system, taxpayer funded candidates must agree to limit their campaign spending. Imposing limits on campaign spending for candidates who forego taxpayer dollars and instead run traditional campaigns would be unconstitutional. Most clean elections schemes thus rely on “matching,” “rescue,” or “trigger” funds to level the playing fi eld between publicly funded…

  • November 1, 2004    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    Policing and Prosecuting for Profit

    Arizona’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws Violate Basic Due Process Protections

    In 2002, New Jersey’s Carol Thomas made headlines after her teenage son used her 1990 Ford Thunderbird to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer. He was arrested, pled guilty and faced his punishment. However, that did not end the case. The government also seized Thomas’ car, despite the fact that no drugs were found…

  • December 1, 2003    |    Studies on Barriers to Entrepreneurship

    Burdensome Barriers

    How Excessive Regulations Impede Entrepreneurship in Arizona

    If set free from burdensome and needless regulations, Arizona entrepreneurs would find it easier to open new businesses. When government regulation are necessary, they should be highly circumscribed, easily understandable and narrowly tailored to achieve legitimate goals, such as preventing fraud.

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