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>

In its October 2010 issue, American Spectator asks, “Is It Time for a Convention?” The Goldwater Institute’s answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Even with a historic election upon us next week, realists have to recognize that Washington, D.C., won’t reform itself. No matter who controls Congress or the White House, politicians vote over and over again for runaway spending. To secure real reform, the states must trigger an amendments convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Want to make a difference in the fight for liberty? Consider law school. Here is my second set of tips for maximizing your chances for a law career that will position you to change the world:

Want to make a difference in the fight for liberty? Consider law school.

In no other arena can an individual have a greater impact for freedom. After all, the courts were intended to safeguard individual rights by holding the other two branches of government to their constitutional boundaries. And unlike politics, law tends to be black or white—you win or you lose—rather than shades of compromise. Look how dramatically cases like Brown v. Board of Education have changed the world.

Judges receive lots of criticism, which is deserved when they stray beyond their constitutional boundaries. But at the same time, the protection of our rights depends on principled and aggressive judicial action.

A recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals illustrates this important role, in the context of some of the most vulnerable members of society: Individuals unable to handle their own affairs who often become prey to unscrupulous guardians and lawyers.

Sometimes politicians don’t recognize a tsunami even when it hits them.
 
Voters in four states—Arizona, Utah, South Dakota, and South Carolina—voted in the last election to amend their constitutions to protect the right to secret ballots in union organizing elections.  The results were resounding, with approval rates ranging from 60 to 86 percent.
 

By Ralph Benko

Welcome to the Wild West, 2012 style.  The Feds to Tombstone:  “If you want to fix your water line, better lawyer up and talk to President Obama.”

As they do every four years, liberal columnists and pundits are fretting that a Republican presidential victory will mean a right-wing U.S. Supreme Court that will undo decades of (mostly liberal) precedents.

Funny thing, we've had a working conservative majority on the Court for over a quarter-century, and the hysterical predictions haven't come true. The Court has restored greater protection for property rights and limits on government power, but the Court has overturned few precedents. The changes have been evolutionary, not revolutionary.

The Arizona Republic recently reported that developer abandonment threatens bankruptcy for "as many as 200 of the more than 10,000" Arizona homeowner's association communities. If there is an HOA bubble that is about to burst, it was created by government mandates and subsidies, so the best reform option is to stop those policies, not throttle contractually-created communities with more regulation.

Only six months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear in Heller that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. Now the fight is shifting from guns to ammunition by gun prohibitionists who would render the right to keep and bear arms meaningless by limiting and taxing bullets.

It is inherently dangerous to confer the coercive powers of government upon a guild. Exhibit A: the Arizona State Bar, which is on a rampage to suppress free-speech rights.

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