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Year in Review: Goldwater’s Top Victories for Liberty in 2023

December 29, 2023

The Goldwater Institute’s commitment to safeguarding the American Dream has never been stronger. Thanks to your support, we’ve spent 35 years defending individual liberty against government overreach, and in 2023, we scored dozens of victories for liberty, impacting the lives of millions of Americans for the better.

Here are a few of the Goldwater Institute’s top highlights from 2023:

Dismantling the DEI Regime

Goldwater is leading the nation in defeating the left’s scheme to infuse racially discriminatory “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) practices into every aspect of campus life.

In Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Iowa, we worked to defund DEI bureaucracies in public higher education and struck death blows against state-run colleges’ use of “diversity statements” as progressive political litmus tests in the hiring process. In fact, our Texas law completely dismantling DEI is the most powerful of its kind in the entire nation.

And these important reforms are setting the stage for more victories nationwide in 2024.

Spearheading the Charge for Education Freedom

The teachers union apparatus is losing its grip over our nation’s schools—thanks to Goldwater’s work. Goldwater made school choice for all a reality in a whopping eight states in 2023, replicating our success in Arizona, where we enacted a universal education savings accounts (ESAs) program last year in the nation’s new gold standard for school choice. And ESAs, which Goldwater first pioneered in Arizona more than a decade ago, are now empowering families to succeed in sixteen states!

Goldwater is also promoting our landmark Academic Transparency Act in states around the country so that parents can exercise informed school choice. And we’re helping concerned parents nationwide find out what school districts are hiding—both through direct legal action and through our tool, which arms parents with the tools to file effective public records requests.

Defending Free Speech for All

As government at all levels tried to mandate what citizens can and can’t say, Goldwater protected Americans’ right to free expression. With the nation’s eyes trained on Phoenix for the Super Bowl, Goldwater sued the city and won after officials tried to let the National Football League (NFL) censor Phoenicians’ speech on their own private property.

We also championed Navy veteran Rob Wilson’s right to advertise for his gun range at the local airport, forcing officials in Flagstaff, Ariz., to back down from their unlawful censorship.

And in Louisiana, we scored a massive victory for lawyers’ free speech rights when a federal appeals court ruled that mandatory bar association dues violate the First Amendment.

Taking Back Our Cities

In a spiraling crisis that mirrored other progressive-run cities’ plight, law and order gave way to death and destruction in downtown Phoenix’s homeless “Zone,” where violent crime skyrocketed as the city stopped enforcing the law. But the Goldwater Institute helped turn the tide.

Earlier this year, an Arizona judge ordered city officials to finally clean up The Zone, siding with the Goldwater Institute and with business and property owners who suffered from the city’s inaction. And that ruling, which came just months after Goldwater published a series of investigative reports exposing the tragic consequences of the city’s refusal to protect all its residents’ rights, shows America that citizens can force action on homelessness—the law is on our side.

Safeguarding the Right to Earn a Living

 You shouldn’t have to jump through numerous hoops just to do your job—especially as the cost of living continues to surge. This year, Goldwater passed a crucial federal law that ensures servicemembers and their spouses—like Air Force spouse Hannah Portèe, a licensed school counselor who still had to fight Texas bureaucrats over her right to earn a living—can quickly continue their careers when they cross state lines on military orders.

Countless more Americans are also free to work after Goldwater enacted our landmark universal recognition of occupational licenses reform in five more states in 2023—meaning this reform is law in more than half the states in the nation.

Championing Healthcare Freedom 

For too many Americans, bureaucratic red tape stands between them and the lifesaving care they need. But the Goldwater Institute is putting patients first, enacting our Right to Try for Individualized Treatments reform in Nevada this year after passing it in Arizona in 2022.

And we’re poised to take this law—which expands our original Right to Try law to cutting-edge, personalized treatments—across the nation, enacting it in state after state, from coast to coast, and making it the law of the land.

Our Work Continues

Whether by passing crucial laws or by winning lawsuits, Goldwater continues to be a beacon of hope and a driving force for change. We look forward to building on these successes and forging new paths to freedom in the years to come.



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