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 the movie "Sicko," Michael Moore takes Americans who have had problems getting medical care down to Cuba. In Cuba's collectivized system, Moore finds medical care for the sick and a model, according to him, for our country to emulate.

The problem is that medical care for Cubans is unlike that afforded to medical tourists. Conditions are so deplorable that diseases including leprosy, typhoid fever and tuberculosis, almost eradicated elsewhere, are becoming common in Cuba.

Constitutional rights are eternal. ­ But the City of Mesa believes that if you don't enforce them promptly, your right to do so expires. That would have been bad news for Oliver Brown, given that the Topeka, Kansas separate-but-equal laws had been on the books for decades before he challenged them.

In May, the Arizona Department of Education reported in the Arizona Daily Star that Arizona's student test scores were eight percent above the national average. That figure has since been revised to put Arizona's aggregate TerraNova scores at the 51.9 percentile, which is 3.8 percent above the national average.

Though it is well over two centuries old, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms never has been definitively interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court-much less enforced.

The amendment's orphan status among the Bill of Rights may soon change because the Supreme Court has agreed to review a ruling by a federal appeals court striking down the District of Columbia's sweeping restrictions on handgun ownership.

The American Civil Liberties Union received an early holiday present this year, but as a result thousands of Arizona schoolchildren may find coal in their stockings.

That's because a bogus legal challenge to Arizona's individual scholarship tax credit program will be heard by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that includes Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

In a recently issued ethics opinion, the Arizona State Bar declared, “a lawyer may ethically counsel or assist a client in legal matters expressly permissible under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act...despite the fact that such conduct potentially may violate applicable federal law.” Whatever one may think of the wisdom of Arizona’s new medical marijuana law, the Bar apparently takes principles of state sovereignty seriously enough to shield lawyers from blanket claims that helping clients violate federal law is unethical.

There was a time when conservatives stood for smaller government. They fought taxes and believed in spending only on core government functions. Then we saw the era of "read my lips" and "compassionate conservatism."  Politicians of all stripes decided that voters wanted carefree spending--and they delivered. That's what generated the spectacle unfolding in California. And during Arizona's go-go real estate boom, it empowered a Democratic Governor and a Republican Legislature to surrender the state's fiscal health to reckless spending.

Confidentiality appears to be guaranteed by the Census Bureau when you fill out one of their mandatory surveys. But when it comes to sharing your private information with the federal government, the only real guarantee is that there isn't one. 

The Patriot Act provides the legal authority for Homeland Security to gain access to confidential Census Bureau data through The National Center for Education Statistics. But that authority isn't restricted to crafting education policy.

When the U.S. Supreme Court last year recognized the individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment, it left open a gaping question: does the Second Amendment restrict state and local regulations?

The redistribution of wealth is a central theme of our current political era. That trend just received a boost from a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reinstated a lawsuit that, if successful, could fundamentally transform the concept of liability and enrich scores of environmental and personal-injury lawyers.