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>

The judiciary is an important, but often overlooked branch of Arizona state government. In particular, the Arizona Supreme Court has a profound effect on citizens' exercise of basic constitutional liberties through decisions that typically elicit little public scrutiny.

PHOENIX-The Goldwater Institute is pleased to announce the addition of 17 senior fellows, including Vernon Smith, Nobel Prize Laureate and former University of Arizona professor.

"The Goldwater Institute has a track-record of solid research and important contributions to public policy," Dr. Smith said. "I'm pleased to join in their work of expanding educational and economic opportunity."

William F. Buckley Jr. was in town Thursday to discuss the future of conservatism in a mock Firing Line with his son, the humorist and satirist Christopher, for the Goldwater Institute. (Christopher wryly noted what an honor it was to finally be a guest on the show, five years after it had gone off the air.)

Conservatives are feeling pretty cocky these days, believing that the political zeitgeist is at their back. But Bill Buckley's visit underscores the challenge four more years of the Bush administration presents to conservatism's fundamental beliefs.

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 in the car, she was the sole owner, and she had no knowledge of her son's use of the car to sell illegal drugs. The government's action was pursuant to a legal doctrine-civil asset forfeiture-that allows police and prosecutors to seize and forfeit property without ever filing criminal charges against the property owner.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In 1965, the University of Florida football team faced a potentially devastating enemy-dehydration. University doctors set out to make a drink that would keep the team hydrated and winning. The product they made is now known the world over as Gatorade. Not only did Gatorade energize dehydrated football players, but once licensed to a soft drink company, it reaped handsome profits for the University of Florida and sparked an ongoing race for universities to discover more profitable products.

The Goldwater Institute filed an amicus brief in Granholm v. Heald, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that wine distribution laws in states such as Arizona and Michigan violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

PDF attached.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Arizona wine consumers are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to buying wines they enjoy. A bizarre set of laws makes purchasing many wines impossible, despite the fact that such wines are widely available on the Internet.

In a November 2003 Goldwater Institute policy report, Mark Brnovich made the case for removing restrictions on the purchase and shipment of wine.  As a follow-up to that report, this policy brief demonstrates how practical application of existing laws impedes consumer choice and hampers the free market.

PHOENIX-In a policy report released today, Goldwater Institute constitutional studies director Mark Brnovich urges Arizona to lift its ban prohibiting direct shipment of out-of-state wine to Arizona consumers. In his report, Trading Grapes: The Case for Direct Wine Shipments in Arizona, Brnovich explains how Arizona's ban violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, raises prices, and hurts Arizona's domestic wine industry.

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