Posts tagged ‘District Judge Roslyn’

The Most Irritating Use of My Tax Money

I find many of the uses politicians make of the money they take from me to be irritating.  But perhaps the worst of them all is to use my money to fund their own election campaigns when they can't get enough people to voluntarily contribute.  Which is why I am happy to see the Supreme Court put a injunction on Arizona's politicians take tax money to re-elect themselves law.

Today the Supreme Court blocked "matching funds" for candidates under Arizona's Clean Elections Law while it decides whether to hear a First Amendment challenge to the system. Under the law, participating candidates receive one taxpayer dollar for each dollar spent by their privately funded opponents (or by groups sponsoring messages for their benefit) above a certain threshold. The Goldwater Institute and the Institute for Justice, representing politicians and activists who are challenging the law, argue that it penalizes people for exercising their right to freedom of speech by using taxpayer money to undermine the impact of their message. In January, U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver agreed, concluding that Arizona's campaign finance system "burdens"¦First Amendment rights, is not supported by a compelling state interest, is not narrowly tailored, and is not the least restrictive alternative." Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned Silver's decision and lifted her injunction against the delivery of matching funds. Today's stay effectively reinstates the injunction until the Court either rejects the case or accepts and decides it.

"The Supreme Court's decision today will allow the 2010 Arizona election to occur without the government placing its thumb on the scale in favor of those politicians who receive government subsidies," says Institute for Justice senior attorney Bill Maurer. "The purpose of this law was to limit individuals' speech by limiting their spending. But the First Amendment does not permit the government to restrain Americans from robustly exercising the right of free speech."

The Front Line of the Labor Market

A popular anti-immigrant tactic in Arizona is to try to ban day laborers from public places.  Though it's not how I would choose to sell my labor, many people choose to advertise and sell their labor from street corners and in public spaces.  And many of these folks, contrary to common perceptions, are legal residents of this country.

Here is a bit of good news:

A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary order blocking the town
of Cave Creek from enforcing a law aimed at stopping day laborers from
gathering on streets to look for work.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver found that the
ordinance is an unconstitutional restriction of free speech, and that
the possibility of irreparable harm exists.

"Plaintiffs, as day laborers, face not only the loss of First
Amendment freedoms, but also the loss of employment opportunities
necessary to support themselves and their families," Silver wrote in
the ruling.