Frequently Searched

Challenging Scottsdale’s Unconstitutional Pool Monopoly

Neptune Swimming Foundation v. City of Scottsdale

Case Status

Date Filed

April 7, 2021

Last Step

AZ Supreme Court granted review.

Next Step

Briefing and oral argument in AZ Supreme Court.

Case Overview

Government subsidies to private business come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes government hands money directly to a private business. Sometimes it gives companies tax exemptions or other benefits. And sometimes it allows private businesses to use government-owned property for free or for substantially below-market rates. In any case, when government subsidizes private businesses, it violates the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause—a provision that prohibits city, county, or state officials from picking winners and losers in the marketplace.

In this case, officials in the city of Scottsdale decided to give one private company exclusive use of four city-owned swimming pools at amounts far below what others were willing to pay. It did so through an arbitrary process that violated the city’s own procurement rules, and despite the fact that the city admitted that a different business was actually the higher bidder. The Goldwater Institute has gone to court on behalf of Swim Neptune—a competitive youth swimming organization that wants the opportunity to use these pools for a fair price. We’re arguing that the state Constitution does not allow the city to simply cut deals that enrich private companies with public money.

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.