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Week in Review: Crisis at the NEA

July 21, 2023

What do you call an organization made up of 3 million government employees that can’t find even 3 parents per state to agree with their radical agenda? The National Education Association (NEA).

Writing at Fox News this week, Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg shines a light on some bad news for the NEA, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, which tried to rally parents to their side—and failed spectacularly.

According to a recent report, the NEA attempted to sign up “community allies” to its cause, including parents or other supporters of its work. Turns out, it didn’t go so well. “The union had expected to enroll 6,300 community allies by this fiscal year,” EdWeek reported, “but instead, the number is closer to 150.” That failure is on top of news that the NEA is hemorrhaging traditional support: the union lost 115,000 members between 2017 and 2022, and it projects losing an additional 24,000 teachers as part of its latest budget (in addition to thousands of other “education support professionals”).

That shouldn’t be any surprise given how the NEA is continuing to pursue an increasingly extreme political agenda that puts the wishes of its leftist allies in Washington above the needs of the children in America’s schools. Read more about the NEA’s travails—and how parents, states, and the Goldwater Institute are fighting back—in Beienburg’s op-ed.

Goldwater to Supreme Court: Rein in Unchecked Bureaucratic Power

Probably the greatest single threat to American democracy today is the so-called Administrative State—a blanket term covering the army of federal and state regulatory agencies that govern every aspect of our lives from air pollution to the kinds of doorknobs we can have in our houses.

These enormous agencies are not run by elected officials, but by hired bureaucrats who write rules that have the force of law—and who, thanks to a legal theory known as “deference,” can decide the scope of their own power, confident that judges will let them do as they please.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to reconsider that “deference” theory, and the Goldwater Institute filed a brief this week urging the justices to do just that. Read more from Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Goldwater Institute.

The “Public Nuisance” Ploy to Take Private Property

State officials in Minnesota are pressing forward with their efforts to seize insulin from medicine manufacturers without paying for it, despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution requires the government to pay just compensation whenever it takes someone’s property. This week, the Goldwater Institute filed a brief in a lawsuit regarding the seizure, arguing that the government is acting unjustly by seizing property without payment in order to fund counterfeit compassion.

The state’s rationale for seizing the companies’ property without payment is that medical companies charge high prices for medicine, and that this constitutes a “public nuisance,” which the state can fix by simply taking the medicine without paying for it and giving it away. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that an expansive use of the “public nuisance” doctrine has been employed to empower courts to impose their will on the country. But if government is allowed to do this, bureaucrats could take anyone’s property anytime people are making what the government deems as “too much money.”

It’s regrettable, of course, that there are people who need medicine and can’t afford it. But there are plenty of other ways for the government to address that problem: it could pay for it, for one thing—and for another, it could expand access to medical treatment and expand the opportunities for medical research, by lowering regulatory barriers that make it harder and more expensive to bring medicines and treatments to market. Read more about the case here in a new article at



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