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>

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.

PHOENIX – In a major victory for free speech, Coconino County Recorder Candace D. Owens has decided not to fight a court injunction that lets Diane Wickberg wear her Flagstaff Tea Party T-shirt when she votes on Nov. 2.

“Diane Wickberg can proudly cast her ballot in the upcoming election without fear that she will be harassed by county poll workers for wearing a T-shirt with the U.S. Constitution on it,” said Diane Cohen, the Goldwater Institute’s lead attorney in this case.

The Goldwater Institute's Nick Dranias spent an hour on KFYI's Terry Gilberg Show, where they discussed the Goldwater Institute's lawsuit on behalf of a woman who was told she could not wear her Tea Party t-shirt to vote, the call for an amendments convention, and some of the propositions on the 2010 Arizona ballot.

 

Goldwater Institute attorney Diane Cohen and her client Diane Wickberg appeared live on Fox News' Fox and Friends to discuss Goldwater Institute's lawsuit against Coconino County and the Coconino County Recorder for refusing to let Mrs. Wickberg wear her Flagstaff Tea Party t-shirt to the polls when she tried to vote.

Peter Johnson Jr. analyzed the Goldwater Institute's lawsuit on behalf of a woman who was forced to cover up her Tea Party t-shirt when she went to vote at a Flagstaff polling place.

After Diane Wickberg was told by poll workers to cover up her Flagstaff Tea party t-shirt when she went to vote, the Goldwater Institute stepped in to defend her right to wear the shirt. Ms. Wickberg went on the air with KFYI's Jim Sharpe to explain what happened and to detail the lawsuit.

Listen to it here

CAREFREE – After obtaining emergency relief in the form of a temporary restraining order in July, Ryan Ducharme returned to Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday for a hearing on his motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent Ray Klemp, who owns the building which houses town hall and the post office in Carefree, from interfering with Ducharme’s collection of recall petition signatures outside the building.

Everything in Mark Flatten's office says investigative reporter, from stacks of paper on the desk to sources' contact information scribbled next to the phone to a hand-held tape recorder and headphones beside the computer.

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