At the Goldwater Institute, we believe that the solution to Washington’s problems isn’t in Washington. Instead, through the fog of despair clouding current partisan strife, there are 50 blazing beacons of hope. It’s in the states where we focus our efforts, developing cutting-edge policy research, walking the halls of state capitols, and speaking to communities nationwide, to harness the power of state governments to ensure the survival and success of liberty.

We’re only five months into 2018 — the 30th anniversary of the Goldwater Institute — and we’re already seeing great success in defending liberty and advancing freedom across the United States. Here are some of the highlights of our legislative work so far this year:

Restoring Free Speech on College Campuses

The campus free speech crisis continues to make headlines in 2018, with 11 shout-downs reported since September 2017. Add City University of New York to the list, where in March law students heckled a visiting lecturer, intimidating students that wanted to hear the speech, and delaying the beginning of the event.

But there’s a new twist in the story of censorship on campus and the squelching of speech. Thanks to the Goldwater Institute, the tide is turning toward restoring free speech. In 2017, policymakers in North Carolina and Wisconsin adopted free speech on campus policies based on our model. And In the first half of 2018, our ideas helped shape new laws protecting free expression on public college campuses in Arizona and GeorgiaRead more about it here.

Improving Patient Care by Protecting Free Speech in Medicine

About one in five prescriptions in the United States is “off-label,” meaning the medicine has been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, but the doctor prescribes it for a different purpose, patient population, or dosage than the FDA approved. But government is censoring the communications about this information, which not only undermines patient care but also violates the free speech protections in the federal and state constitutions.

The threat of fines or even jail time for speaking the truth has had a chilling effect on pharmaceutical companies’ willingness to share information with doctors and payers – leaving patients in the lurch. But that is changing, thanks in part to our Free Speech in Medicine Act. Read more about it here.

Expanding the Right to Try Nationwide

Forty states—enough to amend the Constitution—have enacted the Right to Try, a Goldwater Institute-inspired law that protects the right of terminally ill patients to try promising new treatments that are being safely used in clinical trials but are not yet widely available.

Support for the law is broad-based and far-reaching. In April, Nebraska became the 40th state to adopt the law since 2014, passing with bipartisan support. The U.S. Senate and House have passed federal versions of the law, and President has called for Congress to get the job done and send a bill to his desk. Read more about it here.

These aren’t the only issues where the Goldwater Institute has had success. We’re also making great strides in protecting property rights and the right to share our home, and we’re leading the way in regulatory reform. Read more about these successes here.

Thank you to all of our partners and supporters nationwide who have helped make these victories for freedom possible! You can follow our efforts to help all Americans live freer, happier lives at indefenseofliberty.blog, on Facebook, YouTube, and on Twitter. You can make a charitable contribution here.

Liberty in the News

  • “Families across the country receive the devastating news of a diagnosis every day, and next week the House will vote to give seriously ill patients the right to try experimental treatments when there are no other options left,” GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said this week. Vice President Mike Pence, who has been a strong proponent of Right to Try, tweeted, “Grateful the House will consider #RightToTry legislation that can SAVE LIVES & GIVE HOPE to terminally ill patients.”
  • The Trump administration announced plans last week to lower drug prices and require drug companies to share price information directly with patients. But while a move toward more sunlight in drug pricing is significant, patients are still being left in the dark when it comes to “off-label” prescriptions.
  • This week the Goldwater Institute joined more than 60 nonprofit organizations in urging the Trump Administration to protect the First Amendment rights of charitable donors simply by eliminating a tax form that requires charities to report to the IRS the names and addresses of individuals giving more than $5,000 in a calendar year.