Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.
Contact: Lucy Caldwell
In what is a major victory for individuals’ right to earn a living, the Arizona Board of Cosmetology has agreed to cease its attempts to needlessly regulate Lauren Boice, a small businesswoman who connects terminally ill patients with beauty service-providers. The Board also has agreed never to regulate businesses like Boice’s in the future.
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.
The Goldwater Institute is representing five public university students whose First Amendment rights were violated when the Arizona Students Association used mandatory surcharges on tuition bills to support a 2012 ballot initiative that the students opposed.
Arizona Republic Editorial
For at least 43 years, personal adornment has been deemed constitutionally protected free speech. It goes back to when the U.S. Supreme Court concluded you could wear a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War and the principal couldn't stop you.
By Gary Nelson, Arizona Republic
Does the government have the right to deny business permits because neighbors complain? Today the Arizona Supreme Court said no.
Ryan and Letitia Coleman followed all the rules the City of Mesa, Arizona set out to qualify for a business permit to open a high-end tattoo studio. But when neighbors complained, the city council denied the permit on a 6-1 vote. The only vote for the Colemans was Mesa Mayor Scott Smith who said there was not a shred of evidence that the business would harm the community.
The Federal Communications Commission wants to force network service providers—the companies that own and operate the wires, routers and computers that keep the Internet humming—to transmit streaming audio, video and anything else on terms the FCC deems “neutral” regardless of how much bandwidth the data consumes. Network providers say the regulation will eliminate their ability to manage network traffic and effectively clog up the Internet. They argue that such “net neutrality” will deter and destroy private sector investment in the Internet.
The town of Oro Valley, whose local government does not mirror its idyllic surroundings, was Arizona's retail development subsidy capitol until its town council declared a moratorium on the practice last year. Now it is distinguishing itself in another way: as the states leading suppressor of political expression.
Somehow, even the most mundane topics, like license plates, come alive when the government gets involved. Throughout America, states offer specialized license plates bearing any number of pointed messages. In Arizona, you can express your sense of “transplantation awareness;” your commitment to animals; or your eco-consciousness. Similar schemes nationwide are leaving federal courts in a constitutional quagmire: Should state governments decide which viewpoints can be expressed on license plates?