Sometimes, a good idea is enough – and other times, you need a good idea and a lawyer. On topics as diverse as federal health care, protecting freedom of speech and protecting taxpayers and business owners, the Goldwater Institute ensures that government at all levels adheres to the constitution by standing up for taxpayers’ rights in court.
Cheatham v. DiCiccioPosted on April 24, 2014 | Type: Case
In September, Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. It's called "release time." The Goldwater Institute is taking on the city's contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). By executing this deal with PLEA, the members of the Phoenix City Council have violated the Arizona Constitution and their duty of loyalty to the taxpayers.
Brumfield v. DoddPosted on March 03, 2014 | Type: Case
Attorney General Eric Holder argues the program runs afoul of desegregation orders, which operate in 34 Louisiana school districts. By potentially altering the racial composition of those schools by taking minority children out of failing public schools, the Justice Department asserts the program "frustrates and impedes the desegregation process." It has asked the federal court to forbid future scholarships in those districts until the state requests and receives approval in each of the 22 or more cases that might be affected. It seeks an injunction in Brumfield v. Dodd, a case filed nearly 40 years ago challenging a program that provided state funding for textbooks and transportation for private "segregation academies," to which white students were fleeing to avoid integration. Since 1975, private schools have had to demonstrate that they do not discriminate in order to participate in that program.
Hirshman v. Rothschild (Bid Preference Suit)Posted on February 06, 2014 | Type: Case
The City of Tucson recently enacted a discriminatory local bid preference ordinance, casting off the fundamental concepts of fairness, openness, and predictability in the public procurement process. In doing so, the city raised costs for taxpayers in Tucson and throughout the state, guaranteeing Tucsonans will pay more for public services, while encouraging other cities to discriminate against Tucson businesses that seek to do work outside Old Pueblo.
Biggs v. BrewerPosted on September 11, 2013 | Type: Case
Earlier this year, the state passed a Medicaid expansion program that levies an unconstitutional provider tax on Arizona taxpayers, to fund the program. Under Prop. 108 of the state constitution, bills that enact new taxes or increase taxes must receive two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the legislature. The state’s Medicaid expansion bill fell well short of this threshold. The Goldwater Institute is representing legislators whose votes against Medicaid expansion should have defeated the bill but were effectively nullified when the expansion bill became law without the constitutionally required two-thirds majority approval guaranteed by Prop 108, their constituents who were denied representation when their senators’ and representatives’ votes were not counted, and Arizona taxpayers who have been deprived of the protection of constitutional separation of powers.
Wright v. StantonPosted on August 15, 2013 | Type: Case
The City of Phoenix’s public retirement systems are sinking further into the red, but that hasn't stopped the city and Mayor Stanton from encouraging senior police officers to spike their pensions in violation of state law. Phoenix’s contract with public safety workers permits employees to “cash in” unused sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, and other fringe benefits as salary in the years preceding retirement, thus inflating or “spiking” final salary for pension calculation purposes. Depending on the extent of the spiking, this can lead to significant increases in pension payments over the lifetime of the pensioner – or hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs to Phoenix taxpayers. The Goldwater Institute is representing Phoenix taxpayers to stop this abusive and unlawful practice.