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Week in Review: Super Bowl Censorship—We’re Suing to Stop It

January 14, 2023

Censored…by the NFL? The Goldwater Institute just filed a lawsuit to stop it.

The Phoenix government issued an unconstitutional mandate requiring business owners and residents in virtually all of downtown Phoenix to beg the National Football League (NFL) for permission before putting up any temporary signs on their own private property in the weeks surrounding the Super Bowl.

But you shouldn’t need the NFL’s permission to exercise your right to free speech. Now the Goldwater Institute is suing the city—in a case that’s already grabbing headlines and filling TV and radio airwaves. “The government shouldn’t censor business owners like me, or any residents of the downtown area, when we communicate with the public—and it certainly shouldn’t let private companies decide what we can say,” says Bramley Paulin, a local business owner whose rights Goldwater is defending.

These restrictions are just the latest instance in a years-long nationwide trend of Super Bowl censorship. But the buck stops here. “Our constitutional rights are not for sale,” Goldwater Institute Staff Attorney John Thorpe writes at In Defense of Liberty, “and in Arizona and around the country, Goldwater will never stop fighting to protect them.”

Read more at In Defense of Liberty

AFN Attorney: Parents Shouldn’t Need My Help to Get Answers

Concerned parents shouldn’t need a lawyer just to find out what’s going on in their child’s school, a member of Goldwater’s American Freedom Network (AFN) of pro bono attorneys writes at In Defense of Liberty.


AFN attorney Warren Norred is helping Texas mom Terrie Chumchal, whose son was viciously bullied in school, get the answers she deserves after the Joshua Independent School District demanded she pay more than $7,000 to find out how often children in the district were being harassed. “Transparency ought to be a given—not something parents need to fight for in legal filings,” Warren says. “Parents in the Joshua ISD, and across the state of Texas and the entire country, deserve better.”

That’s why the Goldwater Institute created, a comprehensive, state-by-state guide to filing public records requests when school districts keep secrets. And it’s why Goldwater is promoting its landmark Academic Transparency Act, which protects parents’ right to know what their children are learning, in states across the country. As Terrie told ABC News Live this week while sitting beside her son: “I have a right to be involved in his schooling, I have a right to know what’s going on.”

Read more from Warren at In Defense of Liberty

When Innocence Doesn’t Matter…

There’s a fault line permeating America’s criminal justice system, Goldwater Institute Communications Manager Joe Setyon writes at the American Institute for Economic Research. Civil asset forfeiture laws are a built-in defect that the government can use to steal your property, even if you’re innocent. This unjust system targets countless Americans across the country to the tune of billions of dollars each year. And many Americans don’t even know about it.

“Hardworking sisters Vera and Apollonia Ward didn’t either, until it happened to them,” Setyon writes. The Wards planned to use $17,500 to expand their dog-breeding business, but a California county government used civil asset forfeiture law to seize their cash, falsely accusing them of drug-trafficking without a shred of evidence. The Goldwater Institute helped the Ward sisters get their money back. But many law-abiding Americans aren’t as fortunate.

“Had the Wards been unable to find legal help, as county officials hoped, their money would likely still be in the government’s grip,” Setyon adds. “If we truly believe that Americans should be considered innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent, then we need to end the scourge of civil asset forfeiture entirely. The government should not be in the business of stealing its citizens’ property.”

Read the rest at the American Institute for Economic Research.



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