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Week in Review: I Pledge Allegiance to…Progressivism?

January 21, 2023

It’s a full-frontal assault on academic freedom: all around the country, progressive activists are using a toxic web of publicly funded, politically radical diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices to take over higher education.

Look no further than Arizona’s public university system, where a new Goldwater Institute report uncovered that up to 80% of faculty job postings require applicants to pledge fealty at the altar of “wokeness” by providing mandatory “diversity statements.” As Goldwater Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher explains, “DEI has become institutionalized on Arizona college campuses: you must consent to the prevailing ‘woke’ orthodoxy to be hired by a state university, which guarantees that students have little choice but to be taught by professors who have committed to a radical agenda.”

But Goldwater has a plan to dismantle the ideological domination of DEI programming over public colleges. As detailed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Goldwater and the Manhattan Institute this week released a package of legislative reforms that would abolish DEI offices, prohibit mandatory diversity training and diversity statements, and end racial and other identity-based preferences in admissions and hiring.

Across the United States, academic freedom is under attack. But Goldwater is fighting back to stop the woke takeover in its tracks.

Read Goldwater’s report, The New Loyalty Oaths: How Arizona’s Public Universities Compel Job Applicants to Endorse Progressive Politics, here.

Super Bowl Censorship Suspended

The Goldwater Institute just scored a free speech victory for residents and business owners in downtown Phoenix!

After Goldwater filed suit, an Arizona trial judge this week issued an order barring the city of Phoenix from enforcing its Super Bowl censorship law—an ordinance that forbids people in the city-imposed “clean zone” from displaying signs without first getting permission from both government bureaucrats and the National Football League (NFL).

“It’s huge for small businesses in this area,” small business owner Ali Nervis, co-founder of Straw & Wool on Roosevelt Row, told 12 News KPNX after the judge halted enforcement of the ordinance until next week, when the City Council is expected to meet to discuss repealing the censorship law. “To be told that you can’t put up signage, or you have to get approval from the NFL in your own city, was really quite shocking,” Nervis added.

Unconstitutional mandates like this one fly in the face of Americans’ fundamental right to free expression, but unfortunately, they’re an almost yearly occurrence in Super Bowl host cities. In Arizona, though, the Goldwater Institute is providing a blueprint for how to battle local governments’ sweetheart deals with the NFL—and how to win.

Read more from Goldwater Institute Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur at In Defense of Liberty

Trapped in a Union with No Way Out

You can join the union…but you can’t leave.

That’s the real-life nightmare for employees of the Tucson Unified School District, which is trapping its workers in public sector labor unions in violation of state law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent. This week, the Goldwater Institute sent the school district a letter demanding it end this illegal, unconstitutional practice.

The district’s agreements with the unions restrict when workers can leave a union and, importantly, how they can stop the district from deducting union dues from their paychecks. These restrictions are designed to make it difficult for people to leave powerful labor organizations. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Janus decision makes it clear that “[t]he right to eschew association for expressive purposes is…protected” by the First Amendment. And Arizona’s Right to Work laws contain even broader protections.

In other words, under both the U.S. Constitution and Arizona law, no one can be forced to be a union member, remain a union member, or pay union dues. And Goldwater will always defend the constitutional right of all citizens to associate—or not associate—with whatever private organizations they choose.

Read more from Goldwater Institute Staff Attorney Parker Jackson at In Defense of Liberty



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