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Week in Review: School Choice for All Just Became a Reality

June 25, 2022

In a major victory for families that sets a national model, the Arizona Legislature passed Goldwater’s groundbreaking bill to ensure all Arizona students can access school choice.

The reform expands eligibility for Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to each of the state’s more than one million students. As a result, families weary of a one-size-fits-all approach to education can use the money that would otherwise go toward public schooling to customize their children’s education experience.

For years, Goldwater has led the nation in empowering families to choose the schooling option that best meets their children’s unique needs, regardless of their zip code. We pioneered Arizona’s ESA program—the first of its kind in the entire nation—more than a decade ago, and we’ve since expanded ESAs across the country to 10 states. ESAs and other school choice programs can be a lifeline to ensure that children get the education they deserve. That’s why Goldwater will never stop until families in every state have the tools they need to help their children succeed.

Read more about Goldwater’s victory for Arizona families at In Defense of Liberty

2nd Amendment Prevails Over ‘Permission Society’ – What About Our Other Freedoms?

Twisting Americans’ right to self-defense into a privilege is intolerable. The Supreme Court made that much clear this week when it agreed with the Goldwater Institute and struck down a New York law that restricted the right of firearms possession to only people who could show some “special need.”

When it comes to all our other rights, it’s equally intolerable for government to impose permit requirements with vague standards and tell citizens they’ll get an answer whenever bureaucrats get around to it. “Subjective and arbitrary licensing requirements have unfortunately become pervasive in modern America, covering not only the right of self-defense, but also property rights, the right to start a business, and even the rights to free speech or to support a candidate for public office,” Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur writes at In Defense of Liberty. “In these and other situations, you’re often not free to exercise a constitutional right unless you first prove to a bureaucrat that you should be.”

But we can fight back against the “permission society” trend with Goldwater’s Permit Freedom Act, which guarantees that citizens get due process of law when they go through the permitting process.

Read Sandefur’s analysis of the Supreme Court ruling here, and read more about the Permit Freedom Act here

Bureaucrats: This Qualified Professional Can’t Get to Work; Goldwater: Not So Fast 

Goldwater is standing up for a highly qualified attorney’s right to earn a living in the face of government bureaucrats’ efforts to keep her from doing her job. This week, we filed a brief in the Tennessee Supreme Court in support of Violaine Panasci after the Tennessee state government’s Board of Law Examiners denied her admission to the state bar because she went to the “wrong” law school.

Violaine earned a law degree in Canada, a Masters of Law degree in New York, and a 90th percentile score on the Uniform Bar Exam. But when she moved to Tennessee, the Board wouldn’t let her practice because it said her Canadian legal education did not match up with the credit hours required for a U.S. bachelor’s degree and a U.S. Juris Doctor degree—even though the Tennessee Constitution and the state’s Right to Earn a Living Act protect Violaine’s right to practice her profession.

It’s clear that Violaine is more than qualified, and that denying her application to practice law doesn’t protect the people of Tennessee. That’s why Goldwater is urging the Tennessee Supreme Court to overturn the Board’s decision and reaffirm the right to earn a living.

Read about how we’re defending Violaine’s right to earn a living at In Defense of Liberty



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