(FYE December 2017)
|Address||500 East Coronado Road|
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
The Goldwater Institute is a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank located in Phoenix whose stated mission is "to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all fifty states". The organization was established in 1988 with the support of former Senator Barry Goldwater.
The Goldwater Institute was primarily a public policy research organization until 2007 when it added a litigation arm, becoming the first state-based policy organization to do so. Goldwater's litigation arm, the Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, engages in lawsuits against government entities across the United States.
The Goldwater Institute was founded in 1988 by conservative activists with the blessing of Barry Goldwater. It is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Victor Riches was named president and CEO on July 10, 2017. Darcy A. Olsen previously served as the institute's president, having joined Goldwater in 2001 as executive director. The organization's board of directors includes Barry Goldwater Jr.
The Goldwater Institute is a proponent of increased educational choice through charter schools and school vouchers. The organization has helped state lawmakers draft "right to try" laws, which allow terminally ill individuals to try experimental medications that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Public interest litigation
The Goldwater Institute created the Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation in June 2007. The center, previously directed by lawyer Clint Bolick, engages in lawsuits against federal, state and local governmental bodies to advocate adherence to constitutional law and to protect individual rights such as property rights and entrepreneurial freedom from potential government intrusion.
In Turken v. Gordon, the Goldwater Institute sued the city of Phoenix over a $100 million corporate subsidy to the CityNorth development, which the Institute argued was illegal under the Arizona Constitution.
In another case, Preston v. Hallman, the Goldwater Institute successfully sued the city of Tempe, Arizona on behalf of a tattoo parlor owner whose permit to operate was denied by the city council though it complied with zoning laws. In 2010, the Goldwater Institute successfully defended the right of voters to wear Tea Party T-shirts to the polls.
In Tombstone v. United States, the Goldwater Institute sued on behalf of the City of Tombstone, Arizona which had been denied permission to use machinery to repair its water lines in an environmentally sensitive area.
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- Nicholas, Samantha (December 28, 2012). "Federal Appeals Court Rejects Tombstone's Appeal". The Tombstone News. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "De La Haye v. UCF" (PDF). Goldwater Institute. November 30, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2018.