The Political Climate's Impact on Legal Education and Practice in Tempe, Arizona

The political atmosphere in Tempe, Arizona is leaning towards the liberal side. In Maricopa County, where Tempe is located, 50.1% of people voted for Democrats in the last presidential election, 48.0% voted for the Republican Party, and the remaining 1.9% voted for the Independents. The concept of precedence is when a higher level of government's law overrides the authority of a lower level. This means that state law can be used to take precedence over local ordinances, and federal law can be used to prevail over state or local law.

Article 11, section 7, of the Arizona Constitution states that “no religious or political test or qualification shall ever be required as a condition of admission to any public educational institution in the state, as a teacher, student, or student”. Public universities in Arizona must once again be open to heterodox thinkers and must make it clear that academic freedom will be safeguarded in Arizona. Students should have access to the best educators with a variety of perspectives, and not be subjected to ideological homogeneity in the service of progressive political causes. The University of Arizona has not provided much information about what changes have been made by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (DEI).

However, according to reports, five ALEC model bills were most frequently introduced during that legislative session. These bills were proposed to ban sanctuary cities (introduced in 23 states), require disclosure of the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing (10 states), allow the lethal use of force against a home invader (nine states), recommend the withdrawal of regional initiatives on climate change (nine states) and anticipate local firearms regulations (nine states). The DEI statements also seem to limit successful applicants to those who not only believe in the political principles of the DEI regime, but who have also actively worked to promote its objectives before applying. This is not only true for Arizona but for other university systems across the country.

The Goldwater Institute conducted a survey of all disciplines at the three public universities in Arizona to assess the full impact of DEI statements in the state. It is evident that these new DEI initiatives are intended to review the hiring process for all positions at universities in Arizona. Educators should not be forced to give their personal opinions on controversial issues just to work at a university. The Arizona Board of Regents or state elected officials must step in to ensure this does not happen.

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