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Week in Review: The End of AZ’s Job-Killing Tax Increase?

August 21, 2021

This week, the Arizona Supreme Court issued its decision in the Goldwater Institute’s challenge to Proposition 208—and it’s a great decision. In fact, this ruling could be the beginning of the end for the ill-conceived initiative.

Goldwater challenged the legality of the job-killing Prop. 208 tax before the Arizona Supreme Court, arguing that the initiative violates the state constitution’s limits on spending and taxation. On Thursday, the Court agreed that Prop. 208’s attempt to brush aside those constitutional limitations are void and unenforceable. The Court remanded the case to the trial court, which will determine whether the tax revenues raised by the initiative would exceed the constitutional spending cap approved by voters.

The ruling and the case’s return to the trial court “sets us up to hammer the final nail into the coffin of Prop. 208,” said Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches. That’s great news for hardworking Arizona taxpayers. You can read Goldwater’s full take on the Court’s Prop. 208 ruling at In Defense of Liberty.

Also, be sure to read Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur’s full analysis of the ruling. In his In Defense of Liberty post, Sandefur writes that the Court’s Prop. 208 decision “is a crucial step forward in ensuring that constitutional limits on spending and taxes are enforced, and that the economic freedom that those limits are designed to protect are secured.”

MONDAY: What’s Next for Nicole Solas’s Case? Tune into the Hearing.

The National Education Association’s state affiliate has sued Rhode Island mom Nicole Solas to keep her from getting information about what her daughter would be taught in kindergarten. The Goldwater Institute is standing beside Nicole in this fight, and this Monday (August 23), we’ll be in court, asserting that the union’s baseless request for emergency relief should be denied.

On Monday, the Providence Superior Court will consider the NEA’s request for a preliminary order to stop Nicole’s school district from fulfilling her public records requests for her daughter’s curriculum information. Nicole had made these requests at the direction of her school district, but she was met with stonewalling and even the threat of legal action. The Goldwater Institute made an additional records request on her behalf—and in response, the South Kingstown School Committee hit her with a $74,000 bill to get the information she sought.

Nicole, just like every parent, has the right to know what her child will be learning in school. Goldwater is acting to ensure that she can access this information—information that is the matter of public record.

This hearing will take place Monday at 10:30am ET. To listen, go to this link and click on “Remote Hearing” for Associate Justice Linda Rekas Sloan. You can read more about Nicole’s story—and what the Goldwater Institute is doing to shine a light on what’s been taught in America’s public schools—here.

What’s the Future for Attorney Free Speech?

Should states be able to force lawyers to join and subsidize bar associations against their will? It’s a question that the Goldwater Institute is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up.

In several cases challenging mandatory bar associations, Goldwater has argued that such associations violate freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. In the same way that the Supreme Court ruled in the Janus decision that workers can’t be forced to join and fund labor unions, the Court should also make clear that the same rules apply to lawyers.

The U.S. Supreme Court will conference in late September, when they will determine whether they will take on one of these cases. And if they choose to do so, it could have major implications for the future of free speech.

This week, Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert—who was part of the team that successfully litigated Janus—took part in a special Federalist Society discussion about how these bar cases could alter free speech rights going forward. You can listen to the full discussion here.

Join Us for Goldwater’s Annual Dinner!

The Goldwater Institute is pleased to announce Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the keynote speaker for our 2021 Annual Dinner.

Since he took office in 2019, Governor DeSantis has been one of the nation’s most popular governors. He has been widely praised for his leadership in Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, setting the standard for the nation’s recovery.

We hope you can join us Friday, November 5, at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, for Arizona’s premier liberty event. To learn more and to purchase tickets, click here.



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