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Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution and state constitutions guarantee certain rights. Too often, government violates those rights instead of protecting them. The Goldwater Institute is committed to constitutional rule of law and focuses on property rights, campaign finance, legislative terms, balance of power among levels of government, processes of judicial appointment, and state sovereignty, among others.

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  • A Battle Amnesty International Must Win

    Posted on October 31, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias

    This past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of secret warrantless dragnet surveillance of international electronic communications. Amnesty International, which often communicates with Americans who are residents of foreign countries, has challenged the secret surveillance law, known as “FISA,” by arguing that the Fourth Amendment was meant to bar such warrantless surveillance. Although the challenge involves national security issues, its ultimate outcome could have a direct impact on all types of laws that authorize the government to access the private information of its citizens.

  • What's So Special About the "Special Law" Ban?

    Posted on October 30, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Christina Sandefur

    James Madison observed that American federalism provides “a double security . . . to the rights of the people.” To this end, state constitutions are replete with provisions that lack federal counterparts. One such provision found in many state constitutions, including Arizona’s, is a ban on “special laws.”

  • New law allows political clothing at voting booths

    Posted on October 22, 2012 | Type: In the News

    Voters who want to wear something that makes a political statement when they go to the polls in November can go right ahead.

  • Darcy Olsen: Public Policy Warrior

    Posted on October 17, 2012 | Type: In the News

    One does not walk into Darcy Olsen’s office at the Goldwater Institute expecting to find a full-size likeness of Darth Vader. Olsen is bright, friendly and cultivated in that New Hampshire-prep-school kind of way. Darth Vader is a trachea-crushing sci-fi boogie man. So why is he loitering near the door?

  • Mandate or Tax, the Federal Health Insurance Law is Still Unconstitutional

    Posted on October 10, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Christina Sandefur

    Those frustrated with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the federal government can tax Americans who do not purchase government-approved health insurance may find some consolation going forward, because NFIB v. Sebelius will not be the last word on the federal law. Over the next few years, courts across the country will hear a number of legal challenges that share a common theme: even read as a tax, the federal health insurance law is unconstitutional.

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