Constitutional Rights

Government can be freedom’s best friend when it protects citizens’ constitutional rights. Here’s how the Goldwater Institute is ensuring your rights are protected.

<p>Government can be freedom’s best friend when it protects citizens’ constitutional rights. Here’s how the Goldwater Institute is ensuring your rights are protected. </p>

This summer treated us to the films "Too Hot Not To Handle" and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," as well as news that the Supreme Court will decide whether carbon dioxide (CO2) should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Reinforcing the idea that CO2 is a pollutant, Gore and others often speak of "CO2 pollution." Before you train yourself to add the "p" word to your vocabulary, consider that CO2 comes from the Earth itself and its levels have fluctuated greatly throughout history.

Each year feminist groups organize an "Equal Pay Day," a day to lament the disparity between men's and women's wages. There's one problem with Equal Pay Day'"the premise.

Evidence shows women's choices, not discrimination, cause wage gap. Warren Farrell, former board member of the National Organization for Women's New York chapter, identifies 25 decisions that individuals make when choosing jobs in his book, Why Men Earn More. Women, he finds, are much more likely to make decisions that increase their quality of life, but decrease their pay. 

Too often occupational licensing laws protect industries from healthy competition rather than protect the public from valid health or safety risks. A recent front page story in the ­Arizona Republic exposed a classic example of an industry seeking to use government to prevent competition from entering the market. 

Line-item vetoes have become a touchy subject at the Arizona Legislature.  The Legislature recently filed suit against the governor, claiming that her line-item veto of changes to the state's personnel program, violated the Arizona Constitution.

The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals silenced one group of students in a national debate last week in a surprising, and arguably unconstitutional, opinion.  The case involved Poway High School, near San Diego, which promoted a “Day of Silence” to teach tolerance, “particularly of those of a different sexual orientation.”  But the school went a step further and prohibited dissenting students from wearing t-shirts opposing homosexuality.

Tucked in my pile of junk mail and bills was a Hallmark card from Governor Janet Napolitano.

That’s right. The governor sent a card to congratulate me on my daughter’s recent birth and admonish me that “One of your most important roles as a parent is to make sure your baby is immunized.” The card bears Governor Napolitano’s signature at the bottom.

The Internet is probably the greatest boon to individual liberty and entrepreneurship since Ford started churning out affordable cars. It allows people to decide where and with whom they will shop. But as a recent headline in USA Today reads, "States hope to begin taxing online sales." The newspaper continues, "the group [of 18 states] hopes to convince retailers but does not force them? to begin collecting taxes and turning it over to state governments." Merry Christmas, shoppers.

The overwhelming need for stability for the estimated 6,000 school-age children in the Arizona foster system was highlighted recently in the Arizona Republic story "Activists want foster kids to stop changing schools." 

Lighting up on private property will become a criminal activity if a group called Smoke-Free Arizona has its way. The association is collecting signatures for an initiative that, if adopted, would make smoking illegal almost anywhere in Arizona.

To say that an era has ended is a huge understatement.

The passing of "the Chief," as William Rehnquist affectionately was known by everyone in the U.S. Supreme Court's circle, coupled with the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, leaves the court without sure leadership for the first time in a generation.

Oddly, depending on President Bush's choice to replace him, the court could be poised for a lurch to the left, rather than the right turn predicted by left-leaning special-interest groups.

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