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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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  • Cheaters Revenge Meets the New World Order

    Posted on May 15, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias

    What does poisoning a goldfish to get revenge on a cheating spouse have to do with the President’s power to make treaties? The constitutionally correct answer is: Nothing at all. Unfortunately, that’s not how the Obama Administration sees it. The Administration is claiming power to get into a domestic dispute under the authority of a chemical weapons treaty. And it is aggressively advancing the proposition that Congress’s power is essentially unlimited when based on the treaty power.

  • Fixing Federal Debt is Up to the States

    Posted on April 25, 2013 | Type: Press Release

    In a policy report released this week, Goldwater Institute Director of Policy Development Nick Dranias proposes the Compact for America, an interstate compact concept to advance a balanced budget amendment through state legislatures. If approved by 38 states, the Compact would require the federal government to obtain the approval of the majority of legislatures to green light any increase above an initial debt limit. In other words, 26 states would have to cosign for the federal government’s credit card.

  • Courts should stop cities from evading property rights laws

    Posted on April 24, 2013 | Type: Blog | Author: Christina Sandefur

    Just over six years ago, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 207, one of the nation’s strongest protections for property rights, which requires governments to pay property owners when regulations reduce their property values.

  • 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.

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