What do Whoopi Goldberg and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have in common? This week, both took strong stands on a critical issue: your right to make contributions to causes you believe in without fear of harassment.
Goldberg spoke out on “The View” in response to calls for a modern-day blacklist of those in Hollywood who support President Donald Trump. Two stars of the once-popular TV show “Will and Grace” demanded the media publish names of people attending a costly fundraiser for Trump in Beverly Hills so that actors would know whom not to work with. Goldberg swiftly and harshly condemned their words.
"Do not encourage people to print out lists because the next list that comes out, your name will be on, and then people will be coming after you," Goldberg said, and then reflected on McCarthy-era blacklisting of suspected communists in Hollywood. "We had something called a blacklist, and a lot of really good people were accused of stuff. Nobody cared whether it was true or not. They were accused, and they lost their right to work ... Think about it. Read about it. Remember what the blacklist actually meant to people and don’t encourage anyone, anyone, to do it."
Also this week, the ACLU launched a legal challenge to a New Jersey law which forces non-profit organizations to publish the names of donors to their cause—a policy that flies in the face of the Constitution and our First Amendment rights.
“This law discourages people from donating to non-profit organizations that advocate for causes that they believe make people’s lives better,” said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero. “The law sweeps up hundreds of advocacy organizations, including those that don’t take sides in elections, and even some that don’t directly engage in lobbying the government.”
New Jersey isn’t alone in threatening donor privacy. Denver, Colo., Sante Fe, N.M., and Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., passed laws that threaten the constitutional rights of people to support causes they believe in, without fearing that they will be harassed and intimidated by their ideological opponents. The Goldwater Institute is challenging the Denver and Sante Fe laws in court. Notably, Arizona and Mississippi have passed laws in defense of donor privacy.
Read more about the ACLU’s case and the Goldwater Institute’s work on this issue here.
A Great Day for the Right to Earn a Living in Arizona
It was a great day for liberty in Arizona on Friday as Governor Doug Ducey celebrated the signing of a law that eliminates costly, time-consuming licensing requirements for blow-dry hair stylists, calling it "one of the most common-sense bills to come across my desk in a long time."
The Goldwater Institute-backed law removes the requirement that blow-dry salon workers—stylists who dry and style hair, but do not cut, perm, or permanently alter hair—must obtain a cosmetology license in order to do their job. A Goldwater report uncovered the regulatory mismatch that these workers face. In Arizona, the lowest-level license needed to work in a blow-dry salon takes 1,000 hours of training. That training includes many lessons that blow-dry salon employees don’t need and never use in their line of work. Failure to obtain the license would result in fines and jail time.
“Professional women and men should have the right to earn a living without government permission—and certainly without the threat of fines and jail time,” said Goldwater Institute Director of Government Affairs Jenna Bentley. You can read more about the law here.
Cities Raid Private Homes and Trample on Property Rights
Cities across the United States are raiding private residences to enforce laws restricting Americans’ right to share their homes on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway—and taxpayers are paying the price.
On the heels of imposing crushing fines (up to $10,000 a day) on short-term rentals across Oahu, Honolulu officials are going even further in their attempts to squash people’s property rights. The city is hiring an entire inspection staff to help enforce the island’s strict anti-home-sharing laws. The city already employs 17 permanent property inspectors, but it plans to hire another six just to uncover illegal short-term rentals.
Read more about the ridiculous tactic and how other cities are trampling on property rights in a new article by Goldwater Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur.
Be Sure to Watch!
Wednesday, September 18: The Goldwater Institute will be arguing against Pinal County, Arizona’s, illegal transportation excise tax before the Arizona Court of Appeals. The hearing will be held at 11 AM (MST) in Courtroom 1 of the Arizona Court of Appeals, First Division, located at 1501 W. Washington in Phoenix. The public is welcome to attend the hearing in person and it can be watched online here.
Friday, September 20: Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur will appear on a panel in Wisconsin to discuss the Founding Fathers and the contributions that Frederick Douglass made to our country. The event will be streamed live online from 9 AM to 1:30 PM (MST) at https://wiseye.org/.