Free Speech

Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.

<p>Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.</p>

When I was seventeen years old I started to participate in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. The next morning I would check for coverage in the New York Times. Sometimes the protests were ignored. Sometimes the coverage was downright distorted. I wondered if the reporter had even been to the demonstration or if the paper was just lying to the public. The New York Times now has a "Public Editor" who is supposed to work "outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper" and provide some check on the paper's accuracy and biases.

ABC 15 profiled the Goldwater Institute's lawsuit against the City of Phoenix and its transit director for arbitrarily taking down one business's bus shelter ads.

Watch it here

PHOENIX – Today, the Goldwater Institute filed a legal challenge to the removal of a business advertisement from 50 Phoenix bus shelters in October 2010, claiming the city’s rules are so vague that they allow city officials to violate business owners’ right to free speech.

Flagstaff, Ariz. – Coconino County has accepted a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of Flagstaff voter Diane Wickberg. The suit was filed after Mrs. Wickberg was told by County poll workers at her voting precinct to cover up her T-shirt with the words “We the People” and “Flagstaff Tea Party – Reclaiming our Constitution Now” during two different elections in 2010.

A member of the Flagstaff Tea Party will be able to wear her Tea Party T-shirt to the polls on November 2. Goldwater Institute attorney Diane Cohen talked about the federal judge's decision, and a new controversy brewing in Maricopa County, on 3 TV.

Watch it here

KPNX Channel 12 on the Goldwater Institute going to court to defend the right of a woman to wear her Flagstaff Tea party t-shirt at the voting booth.

Goldwater Institute lawsuit restores First Amendment rights at polling places.

On Oct. 28, 2010, the Goldwater Institute filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Scottsdale resident Mark Reed, who wants to vote at his polling place while wearing a T-shirt that refers in a general manner to the phrase “tea party.” Maricopa County election officials have said their policy is to ban all clothing with any political messages at polling places on Election Day, not just clothing with messages that attempt to influence other voters. The lawsuit says Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and county Elections Director Karen Osborne are violating the federal civil rights of voters who want to wear clothing with logos or messages that are not electioneering. A federal judge granted Goldwater Institute’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Maricopa County to protect voters’ rights during the election on Nov. 2, 2010, and voters were allowed to wear Tea Party T-shirts that didn't endorse candidates or issues to the polls. The preliminary injunction expired after the polls closed on November 2, and the fight continues.

The Goldwater Institute has filed federal lawsuits on behalf of voters in Maricopa and Coconino counties to defend their right to vote while wearing clothing that refers to one or more “tea party” groups. The lawsuits aim to make sure county election officials use uniform and objective standards to enforce Arizona's electioneering laws without violating the constitutional rights of these and other voters in the future.

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