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.
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.
Reed v. PurcellPosted on October 29, 2010 | Type: Case
On Oct. 28, 2010, the Goldwater Institute filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Scottsdale resident Mark Reed, who wants to vote at his polling place while wearing a T-shirt that refers in a general manner to the phrase “tea party.” Maricopa County election officials have said their policy is to ban all clothing with any political messages at polling places on Election Day, not just clothing with messages that attempt to influence other voters. The lawsuit says Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and county Elections Director Karen Osborne are violating the federal civil rights of voters who want to wear clothing with logos or messages that are not electioneering. A federal judge granted Goldwater Institute’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Maricopa County to protect voters’ rights during the election on Nov. 2, 2010, and voters were allowed to wear Tea Party T-shirts that didn't endorse candidates or issues to the polls. The preliminary injunction expired after the polls closed on November 2, and the fight continues.
Wickberg v. OwensPosted on September 20, 2010 | Type: Case
In March 2011, Coconino County decided to settle the case. Specifically, Coconino County's new rules define electioneering to provide that only conduct that advocates for or against a candidate, a political party, or an issue on the ballot may be banned at the polling site. The County has also agreed to provide additional training to poll workers for objective enforcement of election laws and to protect against discrimination in the polling place.