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 response to an unprecedented expansion of federal power, citizens have held hundreds of "tea party" rallies around the country, and various states are considering "sovereignty resolutions" invoking the Constitution's Ninth and Tenth Amendments. For example, Michigan's proposal urges "the federal government to halt its practice of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States."

George Mason University’s Mercatus Center recently ranked the states according to economic and personal freedom. Once again, Arizona ranks in the middle of the pack with California dragging up the rear. Arizona ranks 22nd best in overall freedom; California ranks 48th. But before we congratulate ourselves for being better than California, let’s ask ourselves if we can afford to stay in the middle.

Six years ago, a fractured Supreme Court upheld affirmative action with the forward-looking observation that all "race-conscious" policies must "have a termination point."  Given the recent presidential election, it is only fair to ask: Are we there yet?

Promises of reduced spending swept dozens of self-proclaimed conservatives into power during the 2010 congressional elections. What did they do? They gave President Obama the power to lift the federal debt limit, twice failed to move a Balanced Budget Amendment proposal out of the House and promised spending cuts that look increasingly illusory.

On November 14, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the 26-state lawsuit against the President’s healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Court granted 5 ½ hours for oral argument, including two hours of argument on the individual mandate and 1 ½ hours on severability, which addresses whether, in the event the mandate is found unconstitutional, the entire Act must be stricken as well.

On November 10, 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker keynoted the Goldwater Institute Annual Dinner.

When the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, they set up a society in which no one could own property and everyone shared equally, no matter how much work they did. The result was misery and hunger. But when the governor allowed each man to plant and raise crops for his own household, something amazing happened.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case brought by more than two dozen states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law. The core issue is whether the individual mandate to purchase government-prescribed health care is constitutional. The Court of Appeals ruled that it was unconstitutional. But other issues are before the Court as well, notably whether it is premature to decide the individual mandate before it is enforced, and whether the entire law should be struck down if the individual mandate is invalidated.

As often happens during election season, the media has been up in arms about “secret funds” being spent by independent groups on messages meant to support or oppose candidates.

by Art Thomason, Arizona Republic

The Mesa City Council denied two tattoo artists the constitutional protections of free speech by rejecting their efforts to open a business two years ago, the Arizona Court of Appeals said Thursday.

The decision - a first by any Arizona court on the issue of free speech protections for tattoo artists - reversed a Maricopa County Superior Court ruling that sided with the city.