June 16, 2019
The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak—as well as our freedom not to speak. When we’re forced to support causes with which we disagree, our free-speech rights are undermined. All Americans should enjoy the freedom of speech, and that’s why the Goldwater Institute is fighting for those rights in court.
In last year’s Janus decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that public employees should not have to join and pay dues to a union, since unions used those funds for advocate for political issues that a public employee might not agree with. Now, the issue of employees’ free-speech rights is back in court: North Dakota attorney Arnold Fleck was forced to join the state bar association and pay dues that were used to support a ballot initiative he opposed. It’s another example of people’s free-speech rights being violated—of people being forced to support speech against their will—and it should not stand.
This week, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur was in Minnesota arguing Fleck’s case before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, defending attorneys’ right to speak freely—or not speak, if they so choose. Sandefur explains in the latest in this landmark free-speech case in the video above. You can also read more from Sandefur about Fleck’s case in a recent In Defense of Liberty blog post.
Why Is Denver Turning Responsible Home-Sharers into Criminals?
That’s the question posed by Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Matt Miller in a new In Defense of Liberty post. He tells the story of one Denver couple charged with a felony because they allegedly falsified documents listing two of their houses as primary residences; Denver law only allows you to use your primary residence for short-term rentals.
“The couple should not have lied about their houses in order to skirt short-term rental laws,” Miller writes. “But they should not have been forced to lie by a law that needlessly prevents them from conducting short-term rentals from their properties. There is no evidence that their rentals caused anyone any harm. They simply violated a law that never should have existed.”
Read the full post here.
75 Conservative Groups: “We Oppose Any Carbon Tax.”
This week, the Goldwater Institute joined forces with more than 75 conservative groups and leaders in signing on to a letter to Congress opposing a carbon tax. “A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay,” the letter says. “A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives.”
You can read the full letter here.