Great news! Thanks to the Goldwater Institute, Tucson police have returned the Jeep they took from an innocent man.
After Tucson handyman Kevin McBride’s girlfriend took his Jeep to the convenience store to buy him a soda, she was arrested for selling an undercover police officer $25 worth of marijuana—and McBride’s Jeep was confiscated by the police. While the charges were later dropped, police continued to hold onto the car, offering to release it only if McBride paid the government $1,900. He hadn’t been charged with any crime—let alone convicted of one—yet his property was seized and headed for the auction block.
But after initially telling McBride that returning his Jeep to him would be “inappropriate in this case,” the government changed its tune after Goldwater stepped in. We challenged the seizure, and this week, McBride got his Jeep back from the government—without having to pay to release it from forfeiture.
While McBride’s predicament has a happy outcome, more must be done to ensure that this kind of government theft doesn’t happen again. “Kevin isn’t the only person who’s been targeted by civil asset forfeiture schemes—and unfortunately, he probably won’t be the last,” Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Matt Miller said. Government shouldn’t be able to take innocent people’s property, yet because of state civil asset forfeiture laws, it’s unfortunately all too common. Government just needs to allege you committed a crime, and then the burden falls on you to hire a lawyer and go to court in an effort to prove otherwise.
These laws were meant to target the property of major criminals—think drug lords—but these days, they’re predominantly used against the little guy—guys like McBride, who haven’t done anything wrong. The news that he and his Jeep have been reunited is a major victory, but across the country, the Goldwater Institute will continue to put pressure on states to reform or repeal these unfair laws.
From Washington to Hollywood, patient-centric healthcare is capturing the nation’s attention. And it’s really no wonder why: It’s because patient-centric healthcare works for patients.
Take the story of young Jordan McLinn: When Jordan was three years old, his family learned that he had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal form of the disease. But the McLinns still had a glimmer of hope. They learned about a new experimental drug that might help Jordan. Unfortunately, Jordan didn’t qualify for the clinical trial that would allow him to access the drug. At that same time, Right to Try was an idea being considered in states across the country. Right to Try, a policy designed by the Goldwater Institute, allows those suffering from terminal illnesses to gain access to medication still being tested in clinical trials, while offering legal protection to doctors and drug companies who come to patients’ aid.
Jordan and his mom, Laura, became some of the strongest advocates for the policy—and with their help and tireless advocacy, Right to Try was signed into federal law in May 2018. Jordan ultimately qualified for another clinical trial, but he and his mom continue to work to help give more terminal patients the opportunity Jordan was given. In 2018, the Goldwater Institute honored Jordan and Laura with our Freedom Award at our Annual Dinner. Vice President Mike Pence—who signed Right to Try into law in Indiana when he was governor of that state—spoke with the McLinns for a video shown at this past week’s Republican National Convention. You can watch the full video below—learn more about the McLinns’ story starting at the 2:30 minute mark.
But this important conversation isn’t just happening in the political and policy worlds—it’s happening on the big and small screen, too. Read a brand-new roundup of some of the recent movies and television shows that have told moving stories of putting patients at the center of their own healthcare decisions. These films and shows aren’t about the details of particular medicines, but about a deeper principle—one that everyone, regardless of their political views, should be able to get behind: A patient’s life is his or her own, and that patient—not some bureaucracy—should be making the choices about medical treatment.
Last week, Americans celebrated Women’s Equality Day, marking 100 years since women were granted the right to vote. It’s a milestone worthy of celebration, of course, but too many leaders who say they espouse equality for women continue to support policies that actually deny them equality.
How does that work? As Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur writes at In Defense of Liberty, many politicians “have forsaken true legal equality for misguided policies that patronize women”—policies that push one-size-fits-all, top-down agendas on women and deny them the flexibility that many would prefer.
In her post, Sandefur offers up five important principles we must keep in mind to grant women the true equality they deserve—you can read them all here.
You’re invited to join us for the very first “virtual” Goldwater Institute Annual Dinner, featuring special guests Dennis Prager and U.S. Representative Andy Biggs.
This exclusive, invitation-only event will be streamed live online and will feature critical insights from Dennis Prager about America’s future as we sit on the precipice of the 2020 elections.