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Week in Review: Victory in Miami Beach

October 12, 2019

Miami Beach homeowners won a resounding victory on Monday when a Florida trial court struck down the city’s home-sharing ban and declared that its $20,000 to $100,000 fines for short-term rentals violate state law.

“This ruling vindicates the property rights of all Miami Beach homeowners who share their homes as short-term rentals,” said Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Matt Miller, lead attorney for plaintiff Natalie Nichols, a Miami Beach homeowner. “Home-sharers in Miami Beach no longer have to fear that they will end up in financial ruin for exercising this essential property right.”

Home-sharers across the country choose to rent their homes to overnight guests as a way to earn the money to pay a mortgage, make home improvements, or send a child to college. But in Miami Beach, just a single violation could bring a home-sharer to the brink of financial collapse. Indeed, Miami Beach was—until Monday—home to the highest home-sharing fines in the country. Read more about the ruling and the Goldwater Institute’s fight to defend property rights on In Defense of Liberty.

Court Puts Alaska Worker Freedom on Hold

Alaska recently became the first and only state to fully protect government employees’ freedom to choose whether to pay money to a union, as the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME require. But an Alaska trial court has put the state’s new reforms on hold, as Goldwater Institute senior attorney Jacob Huebert writes in a new article.

“Contrary to the First Amendment and Janus, [the Court] elevated a union’s interest in taking money from workers over workers’ interest in deciding for themselves whether to fund a union and its politics,” Huebert wrote. “The courts not only should uphold Alaska’s rules but also should mandate similar rules in every other state to fulfill Janus’s promise that government employees will be free to choose which groups they will and won’t support with their money.”

Read more about the case here.

A Campaign Finance “Right to Know”? Not So.

States and cities continue to try and expand their campaign finance laws, claiming a dubious “right to know” who is donating money to every nonprofit group that dares to opine about a ballot measure of piece of legislation.

Last week, one of these laws received some serious pushback from a federal judge in New Jersey, where a state-based group recently sought to enjoin enforcement of the state’s latest attempt to regulate the speech of nonprofit groups, put their supporters on a government list, and invite harassment and intimidation of nonprofit supporters by their ideological opponents.

So what’s next for donor privacy? Goldwater Institute senior attorney Matt Miller, who is defending donor privacy in courts in Colorado and New Mexico, writes about the issue on In Defense of Liberty.

Goldwater in the News
Does Phoenix force employees to pay for unions? Goldwater Institute lawsuit says yes

In case you missed it, the Arizona Republic reported on one of the Goldwater Institute’s newest cases in which we’re taking the City of Phoenix to court on behalf of two city employees.  Read more here.



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