Should states have to surrender their ability to cut taxes in order to get federal relief money? That’s the big catch in President Biden’s COVID relief plan—but Goldwater is taking on this unconstitutional plan.

The President’s American Rescue Plan Act will give states billions of federal dollars to help them recover from the economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic. But states that take the funding won’t be able to cut taxes through 2024. That’s unconstitutional—and in response, many state attorneys general havefiled federal lawsuits challenging this “Tax Mandate.” This week, the Goldwater Institute filed a brief supporting the state of Ohio’s challenge.

What’s the real purpose behind the Act’s Tax Mandate? It’s designed to impose a pro-tax political philosophy on all states. But forcing states that have managed their finances well during the pandemic to adopt the tax-and-spend perspective of states that have managed their finances poorly is simply foolish. A smarter recovery plan would allow states to take the federal dollars while also allowing them to enact tax reforms to encourage business and job growth that will help speed their recovery.

You can read more about our brief at In Defense of Liberty.

Illinois Denies Second Amendment Rights — But Goldwater Continues the Fight

A deferral of rights is still a denial of rights. And because of one court decision this week, one such denial will be allowed to continue: The federal district court in Chicago declined to grant a preliminary injunction in a Goldwater case that would have put a halt to the state of Illinois’s illegal delays in issuing the permits Illinoisans need to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Under state law, the Illinois State Police is required to grant or deny a person’s application for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card within 30 days of receiving. In Illinois, residents must obtain a FOID card in order to possess a gun. But those waits frequently stretch far longer—to sometime more than 100 days. Unfortunately, the court’s decision this week ensures that these delays will persist.

Goldwater Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert joined the WMAY Morning Newsfeed this week to talk about why the court’s decision is bad news for Illinoisans’ constitutional rights. “This is a total deprivation of Second Amendment rights until the state gets around to acting on your FOID card application, and to some people that can be the difference between life and death,” Huebert said. Goldwater will continue to work to ensure that the state of Illinois follows its own law.

You can read more about our case here, and you can listen to the full WMAY interview with Huebert here.

Summer Listening on Economic Liberty and Equality under the Law

We’ve got two new listening opportunities to kick off your summer. First, Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur recently joined the American Enterprise Institute’s Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe on their podcast “Are You Kidding Me?” to discuss how the Indian Child Welfare Act makes it harder to protect Native American children from abuse and neglect—and how irrational it is that the federal government continues to impose race-based barriers against the adoption of at-risk children. Sandefur discusses the recent decision in the Brackeen case, as well as some of the other cases the Goldwater Institute has worked on to defend the rights of Native kids and the adults who want to care for them.

Sandefur also recently sat down with the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Anastasia Boden to talk about the Constitution’s protections for economic liberty, on PLF’s podcast “Dissed,” which features famous dissenting opinions in U.S. Supreme Court history. Be sure to check out both podcasts!

COMING SOON—A Time for Choosing: Critical Race Theory or the American Dream

By seeking to impose a divisive, race-based worldview on every aspect of American life, Critical Race Theory is becoming increasingly prevalent in our nation’s schools and boardrooms. Activists use Critical Race Theory to reject the fundamental principles on which our freedom is based, pervert the idea of justice, and deny everyone’s rightful claim to an opportunity to pursue the American Dream. What can we do to fight back against this pernicious philosophy?

On Tuesday, June 29, the Goldwater Institute will host a live video discussion about the growing use of Critical Race Theory in everyday life. Radio show host and commentator Kevin Jackson and Goldwater Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher will talk about how we can learn from serious failures of the past while keeping alive the promise of the American Dream.

Stay tuned for more details about how you can join us for this special event in the days ahead.

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