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Week in Review: Goldwater’s Second Amendment Victory

October 15, 2022

For far too long, Illinois government bureaucrats have routinely ignored the Constitution by forcing citizens to wait months, or even years, to purchase a firearm and exercise their Second Amendment liberties. But now, thanks to the Goldwater Institute, law-abiding citizens’ right to defend their lives and loved ones has been secured.

Illinois requires citizens to apply for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card before purchasing a firearm. While officials are required to grant or deny these applications within 30 days, the government has regularly treated that rule like more of a suggestion than a mandate under state law. At one point, the average wait time was 122 days—for some, it took years. That’s wrong: if the state insists on forcing law-abiding citizens to beg for the government’s permission to obtain a firearm, bureaucrats need to at least follow the law.

After the Goldwater Institute filed suit, the state finally agreed to fix its firearm licensing apparatus by ramping up its processing system and clearing the backlog that was preventing Illinoisans from obtaining firearms. It’s a victory for the Second Amendment, and for Illinoisans’ fundamental right to defend their property, their loved ones, and their own lives.

Read more about this victory at In Defense of Liberty

New Year, New Lower Tax Rate

It’s great news for hardworking Arizona taxpayers: Governor Doug Ducey announced that Arizona’s historic tax relief law, which the Goldwater Institute wrote and passed last year to establish the nation’s lowest flat tax rate of 2.5 percent, will take effect in January of 2023, not 2024 as originally expected.

Around the country, the government’s heavy hand is fogging up an already-overcast economic climate. But it’s a different story in Arizona, which has adopted the Goldwater Institute’s vision of getting the government out of the way and provided the nation with a blueprint for economic growth and opportunity.

Arizona’s economy is humming after the Goldwater Institute defeated the largest tax hike in Arizona history and helped thousands of new residents exercise their right to earn a living by enacting a first-in-the-nation 2019 reform that tore down barriers to employment. It’s no wonder Arizona was one of just five states to receive an “A” grade in the Cato Institute’s recent Fiscal Policy Report Card. And now that the Goldwater Institute’s historic tax relief package will take effect in mere months, the outlook is even better, as Arizona continues to provide a national model for how to build and maintain a strong economy.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty

Goldwater Urges Supreme Court to Protect Free Speech

Can public sector unions forbid their employees from quitting? They shouldn’t, but they do anyway. That’s why the Goldwater Institute filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court this week in support of a group of California lifeguards who want to resign from their union—but who aren’t allowed to. The reason they can’t resign: a contract the union signed that forbids its members from quitting the union for four years (and thereafter only allows them to resign during a one-month window in June of next year).

“This restriction violates the First Amendment, because public employees not only have the constitutional right to decide whether to join or subsidize the union in the first place—something the Supreme Court made clear in its recent Janus decision—but they also have the right to quit if they want to,” Goldwater Institute Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur writes at In Defense of Liberty.

Resigning in protest is an important way of expressing disagreement—even a U.S. Supreme Court justice once quit in protest over the infamous Dred Scott decision. It’s protected speech under the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court should recognize it as such.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty

Arizona Should Vote ‘Yes’ on Prop 132

As Americans face skyrocketing inflation and gas prices, it should not be easy for special interests to increase taxes on Arizona’s businesses and families. That’s why the Goldwater Institute is calling on Arizona voters to support Proposition 132, a ballot initiative that will require a 60 percent majority vote before any tax increases are approved at the ballot.

After all, the Arizona Legislature must already have a two-thirds majority to raise your taxes—a requirement that works great for our state, protecting Arizona families and their pocketbooks. But when it comes to ballot initiatives, there’s a dangerous loophole. Special interests can raise taxes at the ballot box with a simple majority. That’s an end-run around our legislative process that benefits outsiders at the expense of Arizona families.

Arizonans can close that tax hike loophole by supporting Prop 132, which extends the two-thirds rule to the ballot initiatives. If a tax increase is proposed at the ballot, it should require higher approval from the voters who would be paying it. Arizonans should vote “Yes” on Prop 132 to improve the state’s ballot initiative process and give more voters a say on burdensome tax proposals.

Learn more about why Arizonans should vote “yes” on Prop 132 here.

 

 

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