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Nebraska petition law restricts speech, lawsuit claims

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May 14, 2009

OMAHA, Nebraska: Kent Bernbeck, an Omaha businessman and activist, announced he will file a federal lawsuit alleging Nebraska's petition laws are too restrictive and thus violate citizen freedom of speech. According to the Ohama World-Herald, the suit "will challenge a requirement that says petition circulators must be residents of Nebraska and a ban on paying circulators based on how many signatures they gather. The Legislature passed those provisions last year in reaction to aggressive and sometimes harassing tactics used by out-of-state petition circulators in gathering signatures. Bernbeck, who has been involved in several petition drives over the past two decades, said the 2008 laws violate the free-speech rights of citizens to place initiatives on the state ballot."[1]


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