Legal Foundations Prepare to Defend a Tucson Mother’s Right to Due Process from Bureaucrats

The Goldwater Institute (GI) and Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed their opening brief Wednesday in the case involving Tucson Mother Sarra L., who allegedly had her right to due process violated by the Arizona Department of Child Services (DCS).

“It’s shocking that Arizona bureaucrats are empowered to put a mother’s name on the state’s ‘do not hire’ list [Arizona Central Registry]—labeling her a child abuser, for as long as 25 years—without going through an actual court process, and under rules that courts in several other states have already declared unconstitutional,” said GI Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur in a statement shared with the Arizona Sun Times.

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Goldwater Institute Applauds Pima County for Listening to Constituents and Addressing Homeless Situation

Austin VanDerHeyden, the Municipal Affairs Liason for the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI), applauds Pima County for listening to its constituents and taking steps to address the homelessness crisis in the City of Tucson.

“Pima County has taken an encouraging first step by hearing its constituents’ concerns and by passing – in unanimous and bipartisan fashion – several motions to address the homelessness crisis. Now, Pima County officials must ensure they follow through on the action they’ve pledged to take to protect law-abiding citizens’ rights by enforcing the law. Moreover, it’s time for the Tucson City Council to step up, hold a similar meeting, and follow in Pima County’s footsteps,” said VanDerHeyden in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.

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Situation in Phoenix Homeless Camp Remains in Disarray as Citizens Speak Against City in Court

Attorneys representing a group of Phoenix business owners argued in court against the City of Phoenix (COP) Thursday regarding one of the largest homeless camps in the nation, “the Zone.” The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) said residential testimony revealed how dire the situation has become.

“Thursday’s hearing was on the city’s effort to throw out this case, brought by neighborhood property owners against the city for maintaining a gigantic homeless encampment, which is destroying neighborhood businesses and properties. The testimony revealed startling examples of the pollution, crime indecency, and violence that goes on in The Zone,” said GI Vice President of Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.

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Kari Lake Tells Arizonans to Support ‘Common Sense’ Propositions 128, 129, and 132

Arizona Republican Gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake told Arizonans she supports Propositions 128, 129, and 132, which are all up for a vote on the November election ballot, in a video released Sunday.

“Blue state billionaires are spending tens of millions of dollars to raise taxes in Arizona. Don’t let them California our Arizona,” Lake said. “Vote yes on Propositions 128, 129, and 132.”

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Goldwater Institute Fights ‘Release Time’ Practice in Phoenix to Prevent Forced Worker Financing of Union Activities

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) is preparing another fight in court against a practice called “release time” to protect non-union government workers from having their compensation used to fund union activities.

“The City of Phoenix should not force its employees to forfeit their constitutional rights by funding the political speech of government labor unions as a condition of employment. We’re urging the court to end this unlawful cronyism and respect Arizona law,” said GI Vice-President for Litigation, Jon Riches, in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.

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The Goldwater Institute Demands Phoenix Officials Enforce Law in Homeless Encampment ‘The Zone’

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) filed an amicus brief in the Superior Court urging an injunction blocking the City of Phoenix from any activity that would maintain a large homeless encampment known locally as ‘The Zone.’

“City leaders have been shunting homeless people into The Zone, and police have reportedly been ordered to take no action to protect the innocent property and business owners located in the area,” said the GI in a statement shared with the Arizona Sun Times. “Hardworking Phoenicians should be able to rely on the public services their tax dollars pay for—and their elected officials owe them a duty to enforce the laws.”

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Kari Lake Blasts Katie Hobbs for Taking a Week to Reject a Referendum as Arizona’s Universal ESA Law Is Now Set to Go into Effect

Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake blasted her Democrat opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, for taking a week to reject a referendum to stop Arizona’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account law from going into effect, despite evidence already showing the motion failed.

“It is shameful that Katie Hobbs aligned herself with the radical unions’ effort to permanently trap Arizona’s kids in failing schools, then hung Arizona’s parents out to dry for a week by suspending the school choice program despite overwhelming evidence the referendum failed to get enough signatures,” Lake said in a statement to the Arizona Sun Times. “Katie Hobbs is on the side of corrupt, bloated school bureaucracies, but I will never stop fighting to give Arizona’s parents more choice in their children’s schools and more control over their children’s education.”

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Arizona Attorney General’s Office Asked to Take Actions Against Local School Board Event

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI) made a request to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) Wednesday, asking it to take action against a school board event that would use taxpayer dollars to oppose school choice.

“Arizonans should be appalled to learn that school districts are using taxpayer resources to have district employees participate in an event clearly geared toward a political objective,” said GI Senor Attorney Scott Day Freeman. “All Arizona families should be free to make educational choices for their children without having the government work against them by rigidly defending a status quo that protects bureaucrats and government unions.”

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Goldwater Institute Helps Uncover Free Speech Concerns at the University of Arizona

University of Arizona

A recent report shared that there may be issues concerning free speech on the University of Arizona campus following the disclosure of bias complaint documents.

“Colleges throughout the country have set up anonymous reporting systems where students inform on their peers to campus authorities, creating social justice activists who blow the whistle on their classmates’ politically incorrect social media posts or professors who fail to use the most up-to-date ‘wokeisms,'” According to a press release from the GI. “Now, the Goldwater Institute has uncovered what the University of Arizona tried to hide: an Orwellian campus reporting apparatus that fosters a culture of fear over free speech.”

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Endorses Proposition 132 So Arizonans Can ‘Protect Their Wallets’

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) shared its full support for prop 132, which is set to appear on the November ballot and would require a 60 percent majority vote of the people on any ballot measure that seeks to raise taxes.

“Today’s tax increase may not affect you, but tomorrow’s most certainly will. Allowing 51% of the population (who probably don’t have to pay the tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% that do have to pay it, is wrong. And eventually, you will be in the minority,” said AFEC President Scot Mussi.

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Judges Reject Arguments Challenging Two Progressive Initiatives on Arizona’s Fall Ballot

Two initiatives sponsored by progressives are still on the ballot for now, after judges rejected challenges from conservative groups challenging them. The “Voters Right to Know Act” (VRKA), which adds new disclosure requirements regarding campaign spending, was challenged over submitting incorrect campaign addresses. The “Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act” (PPDCA), which is backed by a California-based employee union and makes broad changes to debt collecting laws, was challenged for an “inaccurate and misleading” ballot description. Despite the adverse rulings, attorneys say they plan to appeal. 

President Scot Mussi, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club which filed the lawsuit against VRKA, said there is another reason the ballot initiative may ultimately fail. “The practical implications of it is that this information will be used to dox, harass and intimidate anyone for supporting various organizations,” he said Monday. He cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last year that rejected California’s effort to have nonprofits identify their major donors.

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Goldwater Institute Files Lawsuit to Remove ‘Misleading’ Healthcare Debt Initiative from Ballot

Eight ballot initiatives are on the Arizona ballot this fall, with three still waiting for approval after submitting petition signatures. One of those three is the Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act (PPDCA) which is being challenged by the Goldwater Institute over its description that will appear on the ballot, which the think tank alleges is “inaccurate and misleading.”

Filed on Aug. 8, the lawsuit states, “The Arizona Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act would institute sweeping changes to debt collection in Arizona that extend far beyond the measure’s purported purpose of limiting the interest rate on medical debt.”

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Recent Report Reveals How Public School Spending in Arizona Surged During Pandemic

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute recently shared that a report from Matt Beienburg, Goldwater’s Director of Education Policy, reveals how spending surged in Arizona’s Public School system, but not for the actual needs of students.

“The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of unprecedented spending on public K-12 schools, yet available evidence suggests that the bonanza of federal spending was almost entirely avoidable and that much of it will likely serve a very different purpose than the one originally sold to policymakers and the public,” according to Goldwater Institute.

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Goldwater Institute Grills the University of Arizona After Refusal to Release Public Records of ‘Bias Reporting’ on Campus

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute this week contacted the University of Arizona (UA), demanding it grants a reporter’s public record request for copies of complaints filed under UA’s Bias Education & Support Team (BEST).

“College campuses should be places of free and open exchange, where students can respectfully discuss opposing viewpoints and think critically about the major issues of the day. But instead, progressives are using bias response teams to implement their own, illiberal agenda across the country,” wrote Goldwater Institute Legal Programs Manager Kamron Kompani.

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Arizona Mother Fights Prosecution by Department of Child Safety to Defend Right to Due Process

An Arizona mother, Sarra L., filed a lawsuit Wednesday, jointly represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) and the Goldwater Institute, against the Arizona Department of Child Safety (AZDHS) to protect her right to due process and clear her name.

“Due process and the separation of powers should have protected Sarra from the Department of Child Safety’s abusive prosecution. DCS has a track record of ignoring due process that should protect innocent parties from severe punishment,” said Adi Dynar, an attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation. “Sarra is seeking to right the wrong done to her and prevent other parents from facing a similar fate in the future.”

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Gov. Ducey Signs 12 Bills, Including Banning Unions from Politicking on the Taxpayers’ Dime, and Stopping Religious Discrimination in Adoptions

As the 2022 Arizona Legislative season winds down, Gov. Doug Ducey is signing a slew of bills. On Wednesday, he signed 12, including the Goldwater Institute’s Release Time Reform Act and a bill protecting religious freedom in adoptions and foster care.

The Goldwater Institute (GI) drafted SB 1166, which was sponsored by State Sen. Vincent Leach (R-Tucson), to address the problem where public employees at the local, state, and federal level are “released” from their government responsibilities and instead are assigned to work for a private union — all while receiving full government pay, benefits, and retirement. 

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Arizona Could Stop Cities from Seeking Union Labor Preferences Before Granting Permits

New legislation in Phoenix would keep cities from nudging private businesses and others into a union shop before giving permission to build.

Although explicitly requiring union labor is illegal in Arizona, an amendment to Senate Bill 1191 would block cities from limiting a zoning permit, zoning variance, rezoning application, general plan amendment or other permit or land use requirement to those who promise to use union labor or only use contractors paying union wages. If enacted, it also would ban public works projects from having similar requirements or disclosing union ties in a bid.

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Goldwater Institute Issues Report Showing Arizona School Boards Are Being Forced to Fund Critical Race Theory at Taxpayer Expense

The watchdog Goldwater Institute has discovered that the Arizona School Boards Association is controlling much of the teaching within Arizona’s K-12 public schools, which includes Critical Race Theory. Schools are locked into the agenda, because if they try to opt out, the ASBA will accuse them of copyright infringement for using their own previously adopted policies or replicating those of other public bodies.

According to a new report the Goldwater Institute put out about the problem, the ASBA uses the messaging of “equity,” asserting that it is not CRT. But “retreating to the less revolutionary sounding term ‘equity’ reflects a distinction without a difference.” The purpose is still the same, “replacing the principle of legal equality with practices and government mandates forcing people to treat their fellow Americans differently based on race — inflicting racist policies on people today in order to balance out the racism of centuries past.”

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Goldwater Institute Challenges Ruling That Raises Taxes for Arizona Shooting Ranges

The Goldwater Institute is challenging an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling that shooting ranges qualify as “places of amusement,” subjecting them to higher tax rates.

The court ruled in April that shooting ranges are “comparable” to “amusement parks.” The Goldwater Institute filed a friend of the court brief last week, arguing that shooting ranges are not circuses but places where people can go to learn a new skill and practice self-defense.

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