Constitutional Rights

Government can be freedom’s best friend when it protects citizens’ constitutional rights. Here’s how the Goldwater Institute is ensuring your rights are protected.

<p>Government can be freedom’s best friend when it protects citizens’ constitutional rights. Here’s how the Goldwater Institute is ensuring your rights are protected. </p>

Executive Summary

When they take office, Arizona legislators promise to uphold the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions. The question is whether legislators, individually and collectively, fulfill their duty once in office.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

With the Arizona Legislature considering nearly 1,500 bills, memorials, and resolutions each session, it is difficult to know whether legislators individually, or as a whole, are acting within the parameters of the Arizona Constitution. Like the U.S. Constitution, the Arizona Constitution delineates the purpose and scope of  government and enumerates the rights of the people. The primacy of individual rights and its corollary, a government of limited and defined powers, is established in the opening declaration:

The Arizona Constitution declares that "governments . . . are established to protect and maintain individual rights." As the lawmaking branch of government, the legislature has the potential to be the greatest guardian or the greatest offender of those constitutionally enshrined rights.

Sen. Barry Goldwater best articulated his legislative mission when he said, "if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty"

All too often, liberty and its attendant prosperity are jeopardized as government takes wealth and opportunities from individuals to privilege special interests and favored groups. As the segment of government explicitly charged with lawmaking authority, the legislature is frequently the greatest offender.

Executive Summary

Arizona's Forty-Sixth Legislature, First Regular Session

Senator Barry Goldwater best articulated his legislative mission when he said, "If I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty."

Phoenix--The Goldwater Institute is pleased to announce it has been chosen among 170 policy organizations in 58 countries to receive the 2008 Templeton Freedom Award for Excellence in Promoting Liberty in the category of Initiative in Public Relations.

Phoenix -- The Goldwater Institute announced today that Arizona businessmen R. Evan Scharf and John R. Norton III have arranged for a $1 million challenge grant to establish and fund the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

Phoenix -- Goldwater Institute President Darcy Olsen received the State Policy Network (SPN) 2006 Roe Award. Ms. Olsen was awarded the prestigious award during the 14th Annual Roe Award Banquet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last Friday.

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