Court cases with an impact on the initiative process

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Judicial rulings have probed most aspects of the initiative process, with a considerable body of rulings around some specific parts of the process.

Distribution requirements

Petition circulation

These lawsuits concern cases in which circulation restrictions are tightened or relaxed. This could include such things as who is allowed to sponsor an initiative or what information is required on a petition sheet.


  1. Maine Taxpayer Action Network v. Secretary of State
  2. Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs v. Norris

Petitioner access

These lawsuits pertain to where a circulator is allowed to stand when soliciting signatures on an initiative (or candidate) petition from a member of the public. There is considerable overlap between cases concerning where petitioners can stand to ask for signatures, and cases concerning where political leafletters can stand to pass out political leaflets or brochures.[1] The first known lawsuit governing political expression on private property occurred in 1946, when Supreme Court held that the owners and operators of a company town could not prohibit the distribution of religious literature in the town's business district because such expression was protected by the First and 14th amendments.[2]

Cases about petitioner access fall into two main categories:

Circulators collecting signatures on public property

Circulators collecting signatures on private property

Rulings in favor of private property rights against petitioners

Rulings in favor of petitioners or leafletters

Rulings that establish what a "reasonable limitation" is

Residency requirements

Ongoing

Rulings that invalidate residency requirements

Rulings that uphold residency requirements

Rulings that invalidate voter registration requirements

  • In Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation, in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Colorado law requiring that petition circulators be registered voters in the political jurisdiction in which signatures are being solicited. The primary reason offered for this ruling is that requiring petition circulators to be registered voters (and, by extension, residents) of the political subdivision in which they are collecting signatures reduces the pool of those available to collect signatures which, in turn, reduces the quantum of political speech available.

Single-subject rule

Rulings invalidating initiatives

Rulings upholding initiatives

Rulings on single-subject constitutionality

  • Campbell v. Buckley. An unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado's single-subject rule.

Superseding initiatives


Ballot measure lawsuits list

[edit]

Alaska

  1. Alaskans for Efficient Government v. State
  2. Bess v. Ulmer
  3. Planned Parenthood of Alaska and Susan Wingrove vs Craig Campbell, Lt Governor, State of Alaska et al


Arizona

  1. Nader v. Brewer
  2. Randy Jones v. Paniagua


Arkansas

  1. Roberts v. Priest
  2. Roberts v. Priest (00-485)
  3. Roberts v. Priest (98-1052)


California

  1. Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. State Board of Equalization
  2. Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District
  3. California Prolife Council v. Randolph
  4. California Trial Lawyers Association v. Eu
  5. Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association v. Deukmejian
  6. Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs v. Norris
  7. Citizens for Clean Government v. City of San Diego
  8. City and County of San Francisco v. Horton
  9. Fashion Valley Mall v. National Labor Relations Board
  10. Fashion Valley Mall v. National Labor Relations Board (2008)
  11. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen
  12. Independent Energy Producers Association v. McPherson
  13. Insurance Industry Initiative Campaign Committee v. Eu
  14. Jensen v. California Franchise Tax Board
  15. Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008)
  16. McFadden v. Jordan
  17. People v. Frierson
  18. People v. Kelly
  19. Perry v. Schwarzenegger
  20. Preserve Shorecliff Homeowners v. City of San Clemente
  21. Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins
  22. Raven v. Deukmejian
  23. Reitman v. Mulkey
  24. San Francisco Forty-Niners v. Nishioka
  25. Senate of the State of California v. Bill Jones
  26. Strauss v. Horton
  27. Taxpayers to Limit Campaign Spending v. Fair Political Practices Commission
  28. Tyler v. State of California


Colorado

  1. Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation
  2. Campbell v. Buckley
  3. Chandler v. City of Arvada
  4. Independence Institute v. Colorado Secretary of State
  5. Meyer v. Grant




Florida

  1. Adams v. Gunter
  2. Armstrong v. Harris
  3. Florida Hometown Democracy v. Sue Cobb
  4. Weber v. Smathers




Idaho

  1. Idaho Coalition United for Bears v. Cenarrusa


Illinois

  1. Krislov v. Rednour
  2. Moore v. Ogilvie








Maryland

  1. Ficker v. Montgomery County
  2. Jane Doe v. Montgomery County Board of Elections


Massachusetts

  1. Boyette v. Galvin
  2. Massachusetts PIRG v. Secretary of the Commonwealth
  3. Wirzburger v. Galvin




Mississippi

  1. Term Limits Leadership Council v. Clark


Missouri

  1. Citizens for a Healthy Missouri v. Blunt
  2. Committee for a Healthy Future v. Carnahan
  3. Missouri Healthy Future Trust Fund, Amendment 3 (2006)
  4. Missourians to Protect Initiative Process v. Blunt
  5. United Gamefowl Breeders v. Nixon


Montana

  1. Montana PIRG v. Johnson


Nebraska

  1. Bernbeck v. Gale
  2. Bernbeck v. Moore
  3. Citizens in Charge v. Gale
  4. Groene v. Seng
  5. Loontjer v. Robinson
  6. Stenberg v. Moore


Nevada

  1. ACLU v. Lomax





New York

  1. Person v. New York State Board of Elections



North Dakota

  1. Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Jaeger


Ohio

  1. Citizens for Tax Reform v. Deters
  2. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission
  3. Moore v. Brunner


Oklahoma

  1. Oklahoma In re Initiative Petition No. 365
  2. Oklahoma State Question 642 (1992)
  3. Yes on Term Limits v. Savage


Oregon

  1. Armatta v. Kitzhaber
  2. Dale v. Keisling
  3. League of Oregon Cities v. Bradbury
  4. Lemons v. Bradbury
  5. Pierce v. Society of Sisters
  6. Prete v. Bradbury








Utah

  1. Gallivan v. Walker
  2. Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Herbert
  3. Save Beaver County v. Beaver County
  4. Schriver v. Bench




Washington

  1. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 v. State of Washington
  2. Coppernoll v. Reed
  3. LIMIT v. Maleng
  4. WIN v. Warheit
  5. Washington Citizens Action v. State



Wisconsin

  1. Appling v. Doyle
  2. Frami v. Ponto


2014

  1. Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs v. Norris
  2. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2014


2013

  1. Ballot Law Update: 2013 Year in Review
  2. League of Education Voters v. Washington State
  3. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2013


2012

  1. Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District
  2. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012


2011

  1. 2011 ballot measure litigation
  2. Bernbeck v. Gale
  3. Citizens in Charge v. Gale
  4. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen
  5. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2011


2010

  1. 2010 ballot measure litigation
  2. Independence Institute v. Colorado Secretary of State
  3. Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008)
  4. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2010
  5. People v. Kelly
  6. Perry v. Schwarzenegger
  7. Planned Parenthood of Alaska and Susan Wingrove vs Craig Campbell, Lt Governor, State of Alaska et al


2009

  1. 2009 ballot measure litigation
  2. Ballot measure lawsuit news, January-April 2009
  3. Citizens in Charge v. Gale
  4. Doe v. Reed
  5. Jensen v. California Franchise Tax Board
  6. Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008)
  7. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2009
  8. Save Beaver County v. Beaver County


2008

  1. 2008 ballot measure lawsuits
  2. 2008 single-subject rule challenges
  3. Alaska Clean Water, Measure 4 (August 2008)
  4. Alaska Wolf and Bear Protection, Measure 2 (August 2008)
  5. Arizona Payday Loan Reform, Proposition 200 (2008)
  6. Arizona Proposition 104 (2008)
  7. Arizona Protect Our Homes, Proposition 100 (2008)
  8. Ballot title litigation
  9. Florida Amendment 5 (2008)
  10. Florida Amendment 7 (2008)
  11. Florida Amendment 9 (2008)
  12. Greg Hodge signature challenge (2008)
  13. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen
  14. Jane Doe v. Montgomery County Board of Elections
  15. Kirk Caldwell signature challenge (2008)
  16. Lawsuit
  17. Lawsuits, California Proposition 8 (2008)
  18. Montgomery County Gender Identity Referendum (2008)
  19. Moore v. Brunner
  20. Nader v. Brewer
  21. Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative, 424 (2008)
  22. Post-certification signature challenge
  23. Preserve Shorecliff Homeowners v. City of San Clemente
  24. Randy Jones v. Paniagua
  25. Signature recovery lawsuit
  26. Taxpayer resources used in ballot campaigns
  27. Yes on Term Limits v. Savage


2007

  1. Alaskans for Efficient Government v. State
  2. California Prolife Council v. Randolph
  3. Citizens for Clean Government v. City of San Diego
  4. Fashion Valley Mall v. National Labor Relations Board
  5. Lemons v. Bradbury
  6. Washington Citizens Action v. State


2006

  1. ACLU v. Lomax
  2. Committee for a Healthy Future v. Carnahan
  3. Groene v. Seng
  4. Independent Energy Producers Association v. McPherson
  5. Person v. New York State Board of Elections


2005

  1. Citizens for Tax Reform v. Deters
  2. Coppernoll v. Reed


2004

  1. Florida Hometown Democracy v. Sue Cobb
  2. Prete v. Bradbury


2003

  1. Frami v. Ponto
  2. Idaho Coalition United for Bears v. Cenarrusa
  3. Loontjer v. Robinson
  4. Montana PIRG v. Johnson


2002

  1. Chandler v. City of Arvada
  2. Citizens for a Healthy Missouri v. Blunt
  3. Gallivan v. Walker
  4. League of Oregon Cities v. Bradbury
  5. Oklahoma In re Initiative Petition No. 365


2001

  1. Idaho Coalition United for Bears v. Cenarrusa


2000

  1. Armstrong v. Harris
  2. Campbell v. Buckley
  3. Dale v. Keisling
  4. Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Herbert
  5. Krislov v. Rednour
  6. Roberts v. Priest
  7. Roberts v. Priest (00-485)
  8. Roberts v. Priest (98-1052)
  9. United Gamefowl Breeders v. Nixon
  10. WIN v. Warheit


1999

  1. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 v. State of Washington
  2. Bess v. Ulmer
  3. Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation
  4. List of ballot measure lawsuits in 1999
  5. San Francisco Forty-Niners v. Nishioka
  6. Senate of the State of California v. Bill Jones
  7. Stenberg v. Moore


1998

  1. Armatta v. Kitzhaber
  2. Boyette v. Galvin
  3. Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Jaeger
  4. United Gamefowl Breeders v. Nixon
  5. Wirzburger v. Galvin


1997

  1. Term Limits Leadership Council v. Clark



1995

  1. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission



1993

  1. LIMIT v. Maleng


1992

  1. Oklahoma State Question 642 (1992)



1990

  1. Missourians to Protect Initiative Process v. Blunt
  2. Raven v. Deukmejian
  3. Taxpayers to Limit Campaign Spending v. Fair Political Practices Commission


1989

  1. Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association v. Deukmejian


1988

  1. California Trial Lawyers Association v. Eu
  2. Insurance Industry Initiative Campaign Committee v. Eu
  3. Meyer v. Grant




1985

  1. Ficker v. Montgomery County







1979

  1. People v. Frierson
  2. Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins


1978

  1. Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. State Board of Equalization
  2. Massachusetts PIRG v. Secretary of the Commonwealth



1976

  1. Weber v. Smathers







1970

  1. Adams v. Gunter


1969

  1. Moore v. Ogilvie



1967

  1. Reitman v. Mulkey











1957

  1. Schriver v. Bench










1948

  1. McFadden v. Jordan
























1925

  1. Pierce v. Society of Sisters




























BallotLaw final.png
Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures


See also

References