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Week in Review: The Supreme Court’s Chance to Right the Ship

September 29, 2023

Could the U.S. Supreme Court help Americans save our cities from the devastating homelessness crisis that progressive politicians created?

Liberal leaders—especially in Phoenix, where officials are operating an open-air homeless encampment called “The Zone”—have erroneously blamed a pair of federal appeals court rulings for their inaction on homelessness. But in a case that’s garnering national attention, the Goldwater Institute recently filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn those rulings.

The Ninth Circuit rulings forbid cities from penalizing people who are “involuntarily” living on the streets. But a person isn’t “involuntarily” sleeping on the streets just because the government hasn’t given him a bed. “Nevertheless, bureaucrats nationwide have found the ‘involuntariness’ rationale so confusing that some can’t figure out how to address their local homelessness problems—and others have seen the rulings as a handy way to evade responsibility,” Goldwater Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur writes at Fox News.

An Arizona judge already sided with the Goldwater Institute in ruling last week that Phoenix leaders must clean up The Zone. Now the Supreme Court should take action as well. “I don’t see how they can possibly ignore this problem,” Sandefur tells the New York Times. “It’s just too big.”

Read more about our brief here, and read more about The Zone crisis here

How We Can Win Back Our Universities

Colleges are embedding “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) ideology in every phase of university life, and any sign of pushback is labeled an attack on academic freedom.

“What the left means by ‘academic freedom’ is total freedom to control higher education,” but “state lawmakers now have a scalpel at their disposal that will enable them to keep the moral high ground,” Goldwater Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg and the American Enterprise Institute’s Max Eden write in the Washington Examiner. That scalpel is Goldwater’s Freedom from Indoctrination Act, which prohibits public universities from requiring students to take DEI courses to graduate or from pressuring faculty to infuse DEI content into their curricula.

“The Freedom from Indoctrination Act will restore true academic freedom: the freedom of faculty to teach their subject matter absent left-wing talking points. The freedom of students to pursue their studies without being forced to subsidize DEI courses via their enrollments,” Beienburg and Eden add.

And when coupled with Goldwater’s reform to completely defund DEI bureaucracies in public higher education—which we enacted in Texas just this year—the legislation offers state lawmakers a tool to pry off the ideological capture of our public universities.

Read more at the Washington Examiner

Premier! The Power of Property

What can spoons and sheep teach us about property rights? Timothy Sandefur has the answer.

This week, we released the first in a series of new videos called “Foundations of Freedom,” featuring Sandefur discussing our individual liberties, their philosophical underpinnings, and what they mean to us today.

In the first video, “The Power of Property,” Sandefur discusses why private property is fundamental to our individual freedoms. You can’t have freedom of the press if you’re not allowed to own a press. You can’t have freedom of religion if the government owns all the churches. You can’t have privacy rights if nobody can own a home.

From ancient Greece to the Soviet Union to the present day, private property has helped us plan for the future, leave something to future generations, and express and understand who we are. It’s as fundamental to the human personality as language or music or storytelling. As Sandefur explains, private property matters to you because it belongs to you.

Watch the video here, and stay tuned for the next one!



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