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Week in Review: Another Goldwater Supreme Court Victory

February 9, 2024

The wins just keep racking up.

In 2021, we scored a massive victory for taxpayers’ rights when the Arizona Supreme Court reinforced the state constitution’s ban on taxpayer-funded freebies. Then in 2022, we struck the final nail in the coffin of an Arizona county’s $15 million subsidy for a space balloon tourism company.

Now comes our latest huge win for Arizona taxpayers—and the Goldwater Institute’s tenth victory at the Arizona Supreme Court.

The state high court unanimously sided with Goldwater this week in our lawsuit against taxpayer-funded government subsidies to a private business, establishing an important new precedent that will guard against unfair government partiality. The ruling allows a Scottsdale business owner to challenge a biased decision by city officials, who violated their own procurement laws to lease out swimming lanes in government-owned pools at below-market rates to a private business favored by city politicians.

Government at all levels likes to hand out taxpayer dollars like candy to its own special interests. The typical result: a massive waste of taxpayer resources, because the businesses only have to satisfy politicians, not customers.

But time and again, Goldwater has provided America with a blueprint for how to challenge these government giveaways—and how to win.

Read more here.

‘Woke Kindergarten’ Is Why Parents Need to Know

A is for Abolishing the Police. D is for Dismantling Respectability Politics. G is for Gender Identity.

It’s not far off from what young children are learning in Hayward, California, at Glassbrook Elementary School, which is doling out $250,000 in taxpayer money to a for-profit company called “Woke Kindergarten” for teacher training sessions. Those sessions highlight the pressing need for Goldwater’s Academic Transparency Act, which we’ve already enacted in Florida and West Virginia to shine a light on radical politics in the classroom.

“Woke Kindergarten” is even more absurd than it sounds, posing “wonderings” for students such as, “If the United States defunded the Israeli military, how could this money be used to rebuild Palestine?”

Unfortunately, this plague of wokeness is afflicting schools nationwide under the guise of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI)—often without parents’ knowledge or consent. But Goldwater is leading the nation in combatting radical DEI in public education—from kindergarten to post-grad.

“If your child’s school uses Woke Kindergarten materials in the classroom, Academic Transparency would require the school to disclose this decision on its website,” Goldwater’s Tim Minella writes. “All states should move quickly to arm parents with this information so that they can hold our schools accountable and promote real educational excellence for all students.”

Read more here.

Union Scheme Goes to Court

With the Goldwater Institute leading the charge in a pair of crucial lawsuits, the Arizona and Texas Supreme Courts have a chance to strike down one of the most corrupt and unlawful ways that government provides favors to political benefactors: public-sector labor union “release time.”

As Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Jon Riches writes in a new op-ed for National Review: “Under release time, government agencies ‘release’ employees from the jobs for which they were hired and instead assign them to work for their private union. While on release time, these government employees engage in political and lobbying activities…all while receiving full government pay, benefits, and retirement.”

Release time violates both Arizona and Texas’ constitutional “Gift Clauses,” which prohibit cities and towns from granting public money to private entities. That’s because it’s provided to unions as a blank check to use whenever and however union bosses see fit. And forcing non-union members to fund the speech of a government union also violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Goldwater has spearheaded the nationwide fight to end corrupt union practices like release time. “Now let’s hope the justices can continue to lead the way in protecting individual liberty by striking down these pernicious government-labor-union abuses,” Riches concludes.

Read more of Riches National Review op-ed here.



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