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Week in Review: Goldwater Defends Free Speech in Oregon

Our First Amendment rights are under attack, and the Goldwater Institute is hard at work defending the freedom of speech in courtrooms, state capitols, and on college campuses.

This week, Goldwater senior attorney Jacob Huebert was in an Oregon court challenging a clear violation of the First Amendment: a state law that forces attorneys to pay dues to the state’s bar association in order for them to practice law. Because of that law, attorneys are forced to fund political advocacy that they might not agree with. And that’s simply unconstitutional.

Listen to an interview with Huebert as he explains how the defense of attorney free speech is a natural next step in the fight to protect workers’ right to speak—or not speak—following last year’s Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which put an end to mandatory union dues.

Police State in Miami Beach

It’s after midnight, and a city of Miami Beach “code compliance officer” intrudes on private property as part of her mission to issue tens of thousands of dollars in fines to city homeowners.

The high crime is home-sharing—the practice of renting property on a short-term basis via websites like Airbnb and Homeaway, which is banned in certain areas of the city.

“The first offense is a $20,000 fine,” a city employee explains on a Miami Herald video. “The second offense is a $40,000 fine. The third offense $60,000. The fourth offense, $80,000, and it keeps going up to $100,000. The fines are quite steep because this is something we’ve been working very hard to prevent.”

Find out what happens when a city decides to use its powers against tourists and homeowners in a new article on our In Defense of Liberty blog.

Teachers Unions Are Holding Children with Special Needs Hostage

Teachers unions are now using strikes as a form of extortion.

For the second time this year, a state’s teachers union and its members have closed schools and are refusing to work until lawmakers stop considering proposals to give students with special needs more learning opportunities.

In recent days, the Kentucky teachers union, and administrators and teachers, in Jefferson, Bullitt, and Oldham counties closed schools and protested at the Capitol chanting “Teachers vote!”

Their opposition is to a proposal that would allow some K-12 students in Kentucky—including children in the foster care system and children with special needs—to access scholarships to attend private schools.

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