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.
Niehaus v. HuppenthalPosted on November 21, 2011 | Type: Case
In the 2011 legislative session, the Arizona legislature passed the Empowerment Scholarship Account program that allows parents of special needs children to withdraw their children from public schools and use a portion of the money that would have gone to the local district to design their own educational plan. Only a few months later, various groups challenged the constitutionality of the program. The Goldwater Institute has joined the State in opposing the lawsuit in order to protect the right of parents to direct the education of their children.
National Labor Relations Board v. State of Arizona (Save Our Secret Ballot case)Posted on June 13, 2011 | Type: Case
Arizona voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2010 to expand protection for a worker’s right to vote by secret ballot if asked to join a union. On May 6, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board sued the State of Arizona in federal court to prevent enforcement of the constitutional amendment, claiming federal law pre-empts any protection to workers that the state might offer. The Goldwater Institute has joined the State in opposing the lawsuit on behalf of individual workers to protect the Save Our Secret Ballot amendment and safeguard an individual’s right to decide whether or not to join a labor organization.
Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation v. Bennett (protecting citizens' right to vote)Posted on May 24, 2011 | Type: Case
In April 2011, the Arizona Legislature passed SCR1025 which allows voters to decide on a constitutional amendment that would ban taxpayer money to fund political campaigns. A month later, the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation and several other organizations filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep the referendum from being placed on the ballot or to narrow its application if passed. The Goldwater Institute—believing the Legislature has a right to refer constitutional amendments to the ballot and citizens have a right to decide them—has intervened on behalf of "No Taxpayer Money for Politicians," a ballot measure committee that was formed for the purpose of advocating for a 'yes' vote on the referendum.
Korwin v. Cotton (Bus Shelter Ads case)Posted on May 11, 2011 | Type: Case
On May 11, 2011, the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alan Korwin and TrainMeAz LLC to challenge the decision by Debbie Cotton, director of the Phoenix Public Transit Department, to remove posters at 50 bus shelters advertising the company’s website. Ms. Cotton has claimed the ads didn’t promote a commercial transaction as required by city policy. Ms. Cotton’s explanation ignores the express purpose of TrainMeAz to make a profit while providing resources to people who want training on self-defense and marksmanship. In addition, the city of Phoenix has no written standards to explain to potential advertisers what specific messages and logos are acceptable at city bus shelters. Ms. Cotton and the city of Phoenix have arbitrarily denied Mr. Korwin’s right to free speech.
Friedman v. Cave Creek Unified School DistrictPosted on April 05, 2011 | Type: Case
If successful, this lawsuit will enhance constitutional protection for contracts, a principle that the school district and legislature violated when they failed to honor the district’s contract with voters. Moreover, the legislature exceeded its power by enacting a law that doesn’t apply to all citizens equally.