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Appeal filed on Arkansas Issue 2

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November 30, 2010

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: A lawsuit that was filed to strike Arkansas's Issue 2 from the November 2, 2010 ballot has taken another turn, as lawyers for the side opposing the measure filed a notice of appeal on November 29, 2010. The measure was not taken off of the ballot, due to a ruling by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Mary McGowan just before the election took place. The appeal is aiming to bar the newly passed constitutional amendment from taking effect. The measure, which passed during the general election, will modify interest rates limits on loans made by three groups of lending entities: Government entities, federally insured depository institutions, and other lenders.[1]

In the 11-page ruling before the election, McGowan rejected arguments against the measure, and decided not to disqualify the amendment from the general election ballot. McGowan ruled that the measure did not violate the constitutional provision limiting legislature to only place three amendments on the ballot. The lawsuit argued that the measure violated single-subject law and that the proposal combined three separate issues into one measure, sidestepping the limit on Legislature to refer only up to three measures in an election year.[2]

The lawsuit was also filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court, who heard arguments from both sides on October 21, 2010. However, on October 22, 2010, the high court then threw out the lawsuit. According to Associate Justice Donald Corbin in the ruling, "Our review of Amendment 80 and this court's well-established precedent leads us to conclude that our jurisdiction to hear challenges to amendments referred by the Legislature remains appellate in nature." However, the lawsuit that was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court was still ongoing at the time of that decision.[3]

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