Lawyers for the Goldwater Institute (the de facto Supreme Court of Arizona) used the hammer that is the “gift clause” in the Arizona Constitution to deliver a blow to the Phoenix police union.
A judge ruled that union officers could not perform union work during police time in spite of a negotiated contract between the city and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Here is a link to the Institute.
According to a Goldwater press release, Clint Bolick, Vice President of Litigation at the institute said, “Union release time is blatantly unconstitutional.”
He added, ““Release time is especially egregious in this context because it diverts police resources from the core law-enforcement mission.”
That particular argument is a crock. But it worked in court.
What Goldwater has done is make it more difficult for those representing police officers to resolve issues that come up between an employer and employees, a decision that could raise the frustration and resentment level in the ranks in a way that actually DOES divert police resources.
Those kinds of concerns don’t matter to the Goldwater people, however.
Just as it won’t matter to them what kind of shape the city of Glendale is left in if they use the gift clause to derail the latest deal for an ownership package with the Coyotes hockey team.
Police officers and the people who represent them are NOT the enemy.
Neither is the local hockey team.
The fact that a constitutional provision CAN be used to subvert business deal owing to some puritanical philosophy with no connection to the real world doesn’t mean that it SHOULD be used.
The Goldwater Institute with its big money benefactors operates safely outside the rough and tumble arenas where cops and hockey players operate.
They loosen their ties, pop the corks of champagne bottles and celebrate. They don't want to make the most of a bad situation; they just want to make a point. And they did.
The institute won. Everyone else lost.