Free Speech

Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.

<p>Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.</p>

A criminal case against Phoenix New Times fell apart Friday amid a crush of public outrage and admissions that a special county prosecutor made serious mistakes.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas dismissed all charges against the free weekly newspaper less than 24 hours after two New Times owners were arrested for publishing details of a grand-jury subpoena that demanded the Internet records of any person who had visited the newspaper's Web site since 2004.

Carrie Lips Lukas joins host KTAR host Pat McMahon to discuss topics from her new book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism."

Listen to interview clip

Conservative patriarch William F. Buckley Jr. and satirical son-of-a-patriarch Christopher Buckley aggregated their respective talents Thursday to bestow upon a Phoenix audience a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of erudition, perspicacity and not least, mirth.

Which all means that the founder of the National Review and his son, a best-selling author, teamed up on stage for the very first, and they say last, time to give more than 500 people at a Goldwater Institute luncheon a heckuva good show, as well as a few serious things to think about.

Fenger Pointing

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak is white-hot news this week for his alleged role in "leaking" the name of a CIA analyst's identity. The "Prince of Darkness" was in a far more jovial mood when he spoke at the Phoenix Ritz Carlton as the guest of the Goldwater Institute on Sept. 11.

Chances are, if you live in the Southwest, you either speak Spanish or meet someone who does on nearly a daily basis. In Arizona, Hispanics make up more than 25 percent of the population and are by far the largest minority group in the country. When it comes to the business of spreading ideas, Hispanics are a growing market.

A new Supreme Court opinion striking down major portions of Vermont's campaign finance reform laws bodes well for free speech.  At issue were restrictions on how much money can be spent on political speech and contributed to candidates. 

I met Professor Bernard Siegan during my first year of law school.  He had been rejected for an appointment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the year before and his spirits were dampened. The toll of political fights often takes place off camera, but it can be tremendous. Judge Bork’s memory still looms large in the national debate, but people often forget how the godfather of property rights, Bernie Siegan, was “Borked” by the same group of Senators.

Did you know that ordinary organizations like the Sierra Club and the NRA can’t advertise their views on issues and candidates on television or radio in the months leading up to federal elections? That’s the result of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) that was challenged yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court as a violation of the free speech rights of Wisconsin Right to Life.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recognized Northern Arizona University (NAU) as the October 2005 "winner" of its Speech Code of the Month award. Please hold your applause, though - the award is given to colleges whose speech codes run afoul of the First Amendment.

Concerned by complaints from homeowners, Gilbert councilman Don Skousen is exploring a ban on door-hanger advertisements.  Such a ban would stop all sorts of everyday advertisements, from pizza coupons to invitations to church. 

Love them or hate them, these advertisements are protected forms of speech.  The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned similar municipal ordinances for violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments.