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>


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.


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.

There was no black-tie soiree trumpeting the arrival of the Barry Goldwater Institute when it opened its doors to relative anonymity in 1988.

It began humbly in a one-room, rented apartment off Beaver Street near the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff. Founder Michael Sanera needed two tries to persuade the former senator to lend his name to a conservative think tank, originally called the Arizona Policy Institute.

Checking the Powers of Government

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. -- James Madison

Every few weeks during an election year, an Arizona pundit or civic spokesman announces that the state is in dire need of "leadership," and needs people who will make the "tough decisions" necessary for the future of the state.

Such proclamations ignore the other key factor in the leadership equation: having the right principles. For political change to secure lasting benefits to the public, leadership must be informed by right principles. Strong leadership informed by wrong principles brings disaster.

PHOENIX (AP) - Proposition 303 on the Nov. 5 ballot would raise an estimated $62 million a year to help pay for health care for poor Arizonans, subsidies for hospital emergency rooms and research into leading fatal diseases.

Smokers would pick up the tab - if Arizona voters approve the referendum's 60 cent increase in the state's current 58 cent excise tax on each pack of cigarettes, for a total of $1.18. Taxes on other tobacco products would go up as well.

For a pack-a-day smoker such as Barbara Wells, the increase would cost $219 a year.

Study Targets Master Settlement Agreement, Prop. 303 Tax Hike, Tempe Smoking Ban

Phoenix, AZ-In a study released today by the Goldwater Institute, Cato Institute constitutional scholar Robert A. Levy concludes that Arizona's tobacco policies are "paternalism at its worst, without regard for personal liberty or private property," and urges Arizonans not to "sacrifice cherished rights in order to wage war on cigarettes."