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Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution and state constitutions guarantee certain rights. Too often, government violates those rights instead of protecting them. The Goldwater Institute is committed to constitutional rule of law and focuses on property rights, campaign finance, legislative terms, balance of power among levels of government, processes of judicial appointment, and state sovereignty, among others.

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  • States Can Fix the National Debt: Reforming Washington with the Compact for America Balanced Budget Amendment

    Posted on April 23, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias

    The Compact for America proposes that state legislatures use an interstate compact, which is a cooperative agreement among the states, to advance a Balanced Budget Amendment. 26 state legislatures would be required to cosign on the federal government’s credit card. But unlike the status quo of national debt brinkmanship, the BBA is designed to force Washington to prepare a budget to make the case for more debt long before the midnight hour arrives. It requires the president to start designating spending cuts when spending exceeds 98 percent of the debt limit. If Congress disagrees with the cuts, it must then override those cuts within 30 days. By forcing both the executive and legislative branches to show their cards long in advance of hitting a constitutional debt limit, the BBA would ensure no game of “chicken” can hold the country’s credit rating hostage.

  • Medicaid Expansion Plan is Unconstitutional Delegation of Power

    Posted on April 10, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Christina Sandefur

    As Arizona debates the merits of a proposed plan to expand Medicaid, we should consider whether it’s even legal. As currently written, the plan is unconstitutional. That’s because it gives sweeping power to the Director of AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program) to make law, a job the state’s Constitution says must be left to the legislature.

  • Tombstone’s Posse Has Arrived

    Posted on April 09, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias

    For over a year and a half, the historic town of Tombstone, Ariz., has been in a stand-off with the U.S. Forest Service over the restoration of its municipal water system in the Huachuca Mountains.

  • When the Gravy Train Stops

    Posted on March 26, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Kurt Altman

    Until February of this year, the Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) had never had to compete for funds in the marketplace of ideas. ASA is a private organization formed in 1974 as a student group claiming to represent the approximately 150,000 students attending Arizona’s three public universities. Until 1998 ASA was directly subsidized by taxpayers through the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), an arm of Arizona state government. In 1998 ABOR began collecting money for ASA directly from students through their tuition bills.

  • Arizona Students Association v. Arizona Board of Regents

    Posted on March 21, 2013 | Type: Case

    The Goldwater Institute is representing five public university students whose First Amendment rights were violated when the Arizona Students Association used mandatory tuition surcharges to support a 2012 ballot initiative that the students opposed.

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