When Arizona resident Mark Reed planned to vote while wearing a “Tea Party” t-shirt, government officials wanted to keep him out of the polls. The Goldwater Institute argued that Tea Party shirts were constitutionally protected free speech, no different than shirts promoting unions or other advocacy groups. The courts agreed, requiring election officials to use uniform, objective standards without violating the constitution.
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Americans' right to organize and speak about politics needs renewed protectionPosted on October 22, 2008 | Type: Blog | Author: Bradley Smith
Most Americans probably assume they can gather with friends and neighbors to say whatever they want about politics to whoever is willing to listen. They presume that the First Amendment protects their right to get together and buy yard signs, publish newsletters, or pay for radio or TV ads urging people to vote for or against a candidate -- and to do so free of government interference.
Special privileges or free speech for all?Posted on October 16, 2008 | Type: Blog | Author: Nick Dranias
In a unanimous decision last week, the Arizona Supreme Court determined that the state Constitution's guarantee of free speech furnishes even greater protection from government regulation than the First Amendment. The Court ruled in State v. Stummer that laws regulating the hours of speech-oriented businesses, like bookstores, cannot be implemented unless the government demonstrates that they are needed to prevent significant negative "secondary effects," such as crime. No prior decision articulates this principle as clearly.
Look Who's Talking NowPosted on March 24, 2008 | Type: Blog | Author: Benjamin Barr
State-sponsored messages on license plates raise constitutional questions
Town releases legal opinion sought in L.O.V.E. casePosted on February 06, 2008 | Type: In the News
Following a cycle of bad press that even began to draw national attention, the Oro Valley Town Council decided at a special session last Wednesday to make public a legal opinion the town sought from an outside law firm.
Oro Valley Scores another Dubious FirstPosted on January 24, 2008 | Type: Blog | Author: Clint Bolick
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.