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.
Reed v. PurcellPosted on October 29, 2010 | Type: Case
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.
Wickberg v. OwensPosted on September 20, 2010 | Type: Case
In March 2011, Coconino County decided to settle the case. Specifically, Coconino County's new rules define electioneering to provide that only conduct that advocates for or against a candidate, a political party, or an issue on the ballot may be banned at the polling site. The County has also agreed to provide additional training to poll workers for objective enforcement of election laws and to protect against discrimination in the polling place.
Tea Party T-shirt Election LawsuitsPosted on September 20, 2010 | Type: Case
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.
McLaughlin v. Bennett (defending the secret ballot)Posted on June 14, 2010 | Type: Case
After the Arizona Supreme Court rejected the appeal, the Arizona legislature held a special session to make the ballot language comply with the single subject rule. The measure will be on the November ballot as Proposition 113.
Coleman v. MesaPosted on March 26, 2010 | Type: Case
Does the government have the right to deny business permits because neighbors complain? The Arizona Supreme Court said no in its ruling on the Goldwater Institute’s case, Coleman v. Mesa.