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>

Arizona's housing market is in a down cycle and Proposition 201, the Homeowners' Bill of Rights, would likely worsen the situation.

In a year in which numerous state ballot initiatives have been criticized as deceptive, at least one measure--Proposition 101, the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act--is exactly what it purports to be: a constitutional insurance policy against socialized medicine.

When initiative petitions were circulated last week to repeal the use of speed-enforcement cameras on the state's highways, among the first to sign was Paul Babeu, the newly elected Pinal County Sheriff.

Babeu thinks the cameras dumb-down law-enforcement. "I've never yet seen a photo-radar camera arrest a drunk driver or arrest a person with a warrant, see if somebody has insurance or just simply give directions to somebody," he explains.

Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, recently wrote that the Supreme Court should have deferred to the political process rather than strike down Washington, D.C.'s gun ban under the Second Amendment. He argued that liberty is diminished by "handing our democratic destiny to the courts," calling for judicial disengagement from divisive constitutional disputes.

But an engaged judiciary is crucial to safeguarding our republic. This is because any guarantee of liberty is meaningless unless someone stands up for it.

The Bill of Rights was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. Whether through luck or fate, this is perfect timing for recognizing that seminal document, which for more than two centuries has been a lynchpin of human freedom and limits on government power.

A year ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a blockbuster opinion that overturned a gun control regulation on Second Amendment grounds for the first time.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will review that historic decision with oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. Meanwhile, an avalanche of 67 amicus briefs, posted at www.dcguncase.com, has produced perhaps the nations best repository of Second Amendment legal scholarship. A Goldwater Institute brief is among them.

Traditionally, gun-rights advocates have extolled liberty. But lately in Arizona, the gun lobby has taken a strange and puzzling U-turn.

Two bills in the Legislature would compel owners of commercial establishments to allow people to bring firearms onto their property. H2474 would force businesses to allow employees and others to bring firearms into their parking lots and garages as long as the cars and guns remain locked.

West Valley Justice of the Peace John Keegan, a former state legislator and Peoria mayor, rocked Arizona's legal world with his recent ruling that the statute authorizing highway speed cameras is "unconstitutional and unenforceable within the jurisdiction of this court."

What's the value of your financial privacy? ­ You know, things like your checking account and banking records. For most of us, the less others know, the better. ­ That's why it comes as such a surprise that Arizona rates near the bottom of states when it comes to protecting financial privacy. ­

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