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Nebraska ACLU seeks injunction on petition circulator law

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June 29, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

LINCOLN, Nebraska: Attorneys representing the Nebraska branch of the American Civil Liberties Union are asking a District of Nebraska federal judge to seek an injunction on a 2008 law adding more restrictions to petition circulators and signature requirements for independent candidates[1].

The injunction comes against a 2008 law passed by the Nebraska Legislature that would require all petition circulators to be residents of the state[1]. Also, independent candidates under the law are required to receive 4,000 signatures to get on the ballot instead of 2,000. In addition, the law has a distribution requirement requiring independent candidates to have at least 50 signatures in 31 out of 93 counties in Nebraska[1].

ACLU along with the Citizens in Charge Foundation argue that the new requirements restrict political free speech[1]. Both the ACLU and Citizens in Charge further argue that the new restrictions make it difficult for ballot initiatives to be qualified and for independent candidates to gain access on the ballot[1].

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale who is the defendant in the lawsuit has argued that the laws are constitutional. Gale feels that the judge presiding in the case would uphold the laws. A decision on the injunction is set for July 5, 2010[1].

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