Sometimes, a good idea is enough – and other times, you need a good idea and a lawyer. On topics as diverse as federal health care, protecting freedom of speech and protecting taxpayers and business owners, the Goldwater Institute ensures that government at all levels adheres to the constitution by standing up for taxpayers’ rights in court.
Biggs v. BrewerPosted on September 11, 2013 | Type: Case
Earlier this year, the state passed a Medicaid expansion program that levies an unconstitutional provider tax on Arizona taxpayers, to fund the program. Under Prop. 108 of the state constitution, bills that enact new taxes or increase taxes must receive two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the legislature. The state’s Medicaid expansion bill fell well short of this threshold. The Goldwater Institute is representing legislators whose votes against Medicaid expansion should have defeated the bill but were effectively nullified when the expansion bill became law without the constitutionally required two-thirds majority approval guaranteed by Prop 108, their constituents who were denied representation when their senators’ and representatives’ votes were not counted, and Arizona taxpayers who have been deprived of the protection of constitutional separation of powers.
Wright v. StantonPosted on August 15, 2013 | Type: Case
The City of Phoenix’s public retirement systems are sinking further into the red, but that hasn't stopped the city and Mayor Stanton from encouraging senior police officers to spike their pensions in violation of state law. Phoenix’s contract with public safety workers permits employees to “cash in” unused sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, and other fringe benefits as salary in the years preceding retirement, thus inflating or “spiking” final salary for pension calculation purposes. Depending on the extent of the spiking, this can lead to significant increases in pension payments over the lifetime of the pensioner – or hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs to Phoenix taxpayers. The Goldwater Institute is representing Phoenix taxpayers to stop this abusive and unlawful practice.
Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission v. BennettPosted on August 06, 2013 | Type: Case
On August 6th, 2013, the Goldwater Institute filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit the Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission filed against the state of Arizona claiming that its new campaign finance law violated the Voter Protection Act. The Goldwater Institute is asking for the right to intervene in this case to protect the First Amendment rights of candidates, political committees, and individual contributors in Arizona.
Cheatham v. DiCiccioPosted on April 24, 2013 | Type: Case
In September, Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. It's called "release time." The Goldwater Institute is taking on the city's contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). By executing this deal with PLEA, the members of the Phoenix City Council have violated the Arizona Constitution and their duty of loyalty to the taxpayers.
Arizona Students Association v. Arizona Board of RegentsPosted on March 21, 2013 | Type: Case
The Goldwater Institute is representing five public university students whose First Amendment rights were violated when the Arizona Students Association used mandatory tuition surcharges to support a 2012 ballot initiative that the students opposed.