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Difference between revisions of "List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2014"

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==Labor practices==
 
==Labor practices==

Revision as of 14:07, 27 January 2014

[edit]

Portal:Ballot Measure Law
NOTE: The following tab shows a list of lawsuits, by state, that were filed against statewide ballot measures aiming for the 2014 ballot. Click the "show" link to read about specifics of a particular lawsuit.

Missouri

Missouri Campaign Contributions Cap Amendment (2014)

Rex Sinquefield v. Jason Kander

Rex Sinquefield, a retired financier and frequent contributor to campaigns and candidates in Missouri, has filed a lawsuit to block the Campaign Contributions Cap Amendment from appearing on the 2014 ballot.[1]

Sinquefield and lobbyist Travis Brown are both listed as plaintiffs. They claimed that "the initiative doesn’t adequately measure the financial impact of the amendment, unfairly restricts free speech and freedom of association and contains unfair language that could manipulate voters." Brown told the Missouri Times, "This ultimately is about freedom of expression and speech. An individual should have the right to express themselves by support or opposition to a candidate or committee." Sec. of State Jason Kander responded, saying he believed the language of the measure would be upheld in court. Courts have historically struck down attempts to limit campaign contributions, saying that the ability to donate money to campaigns and candidates is a form of free expression, which is protected by the first amendment.[1]

Montana

Montana Late Voter Registration Revision Measure, LR-126 (2014)

MEA-MFT, et al. v. Fox

On December 3, 2013, the MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Montana Public Employees Association, Montana Human Rights Network, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers, Montana Women Vote and Western Native Voice filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court in an attempt to remove LR-126 from the ballot. The petitioners claimed LR-126’s title language to be false, as one line read, “ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT [NVRA].” They noted, “Nothing in LR-126 is required in any way by the NVRA.” The “inaccurate language” was returned by the Attorney General to the Secretary of State without proper review, according to the petitioners. Therefore, the measure “is legally insufficient as a ballot measure.”[2] The ACLU, League of Women Voters, AARP and the Montana Conservation Voters all filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the petitioners.[3] The Attorney General, the respondent, stated, “Petitioners’ argument fails because LR-126 does contain language regarding the NVRA that is accurately summarized in the referendum’s title and addresses a concern raised by legislative staffers.”[4]

On February 5, 2014, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in a 5-1 decision that LR-126 would stay on the ballot. Justice Michael Wheat was the lone dissenter. He said, "It is undeniable that same-day voter registration has absolutely nothing to do with compliance with the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act). Thus, the statement in the title of LR-126 to the contrary is a fatal defect that cannot be cured." Chief Justice Mike McGrath, writing for the majority, said, "[W]e are reluctant to take the extraordinary step of nullifying its placement on the ballot. [Supreme Court precedents] counsel in favor of allowing the measure to proceed to a vote."[5] The court did, however, declare the contested sentence in the ballot statement to be incorrect and ordered it to be rewritten. The original statement said that the referendum's approval was necessary to ensure compliance with a federal law, the National Voter Registration Act. According to the court, LR-126's intent is not required by the NVRA.[6]

Montana Primary Election Revision Measure, LR-127 (2014)

MEA-MFT, et al. v. Fox

On November 27, 2013, the MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Montana Public Employees Association, Montana Human Rights Network and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court in an attempt to remove LR-127 from the ballot. The petitioners claimed that LR-127’s title language was too long, as Montana statute limits the titles of referred statutes to 100 words. The measure’s title was 196 words long. Furthermore, they argued that LR-127 contained more than one subject as the measure would have both adopted an open primary system and a top two primary system. Therefore, the measure was “legally insufficient as a ballot measure.”[7] The Attorney General, the respondent, stated, “Since Petitioners have failed to allege untruth, partiality, argumentation, or prejudice in the ballot statement, and because they did not provide an alternate ballot statement pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 13-27-316(3)(b), the Court should reject their arguments regarding the statement of purpose and implication.”[8]

On March 24, 2014, the Montana Supreme Court ruled, in a 6 to 1 decision, to remove LR-127 from the ballot. They ruled that the title "does not comply with the plain meaning of the Legislature’s 100-word limit." Chief Justice Mike McGrath said, "The Legislature chose to place the 100-word limitation into the statute and must comply with its own law when referring a matter to the people for the vote. Furthermore, the title of LR-127 is not a mere technical violation of the statute, but is substantially in excess of the 100-word limit imposed by the Legislature." The Supreme Court also found the measure's title "complicated and confusing." Attorney General Tim Fox's spokesperson, John Barnes, stated, "Based on this new guidance from the Montana Supreme Court, the Legislature will need to revisit its rules governing the submission of referendums to voters."[9]

NOTE: Each lawsuit against proposed 2014 ballot measures includes a basis, or reason, as to why plaintiffs filed the lawsuit. For example, a reason for a filed lawsuit, or "topic", could include arguments that a measure's ballot text is insufficient.
No ballot measure lawsuits have been filed in 2014. Any information on ballot measure lawsuits can be sent to Al Ortiz, Assistant Project Director of Ballot Measures.

Ballot text

Montana

Montana Late Voter Registration Revision Measure, LR-126 (2014)

MEA-MFT, et al. v. Fox

On December 3, 2013, the MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Montana Public Employees Association, Montana Human Rights Network, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers, Montana Women Vote and Western Native Voice filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court in an attempt to remove LR-126 from the ballot. The petitioners claimed LR-126’s title language to be false, as one line read, “ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT [NVRA].” They noted, “Nothing in LR-126 is required in any way by the NVRA.” The “inaccurate language” was returned by the Attorney General to the Secretary of State without proper review, according to the petitioners. Therefore, the measure “is legally insufficient as a ballot measure.”[10] The ACLU, League of Women Voters, AARP and the Montana Conservation Voters all filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the petitioners.[11] The Attorney General, the respondent, stated, “Petitioners’ argument fails because LR-126 does contain language regarding the NVRA that is accurately summarized in the referendum’s title and addresses a concern raised by legislative staffers.”[12]

On February 5, 2014, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in a 5-1 decision that LR-126 would stay on the ballot. Justice Michael Wheat was the lone dissenter. He said, "It is undeniable that same-day voter registration has absolutely nothing to do with compliance with the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act). Thus, the statement in the title of LR-126 to the contrary is a fatal defect that cannot be cured." Chief Justice Mike McGrath, writing for the majority, said, "[W]e are reluctant to take the extraordinary step of nullifying its placement on the ballot. [Supreme Court precedents] counsel in favor of allowing the measure to proceed to a vote."[13] The court did, however, declare the contested sentence in the ballot statement to be incorrect and ordered it to be rewritten. The original statement said that the referendum's approval was necessary to ensure compliance with a federal law, the National Voter Registration Act. According to the court, LR-126's intent is not required by the NVRA.[14]

Montana Primary Election Revision Measure, LR-127 (2014)

MEA-MFT, et al. v. Fox

On November 27, 2013, the MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Montana Public Employees Association, Montana Human Rights Network and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court in an attempt to remove LR-127 from the ballot. The petitioners claimed that LR-127’s title language was too long, as Montana statute limits the titles of referred statutes to 100 words. The measure’s title was 196 words long. Furthermore, they argued that LR-127 contained more than one subject as the measure would have both adopted an open primary system and a top two primary system. Therefore, the measure was “legally insufficient as a ballot measure.”[15] The Attorney General, the respondent, stated, “Since Petitioners have failed to allege untruth, partiality, argumentation, or prejudice in the ballot statement, and because they did not provide an alternate ballot statement pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 13-27-316(3)(b), the Court should reject their arguments regarding the statement of purpose and implication.”[16]

On March 24, 2014, the Montana Supreme Court ruled, in a 6 to 1 decision, to remove LR-127 from the ballot. They ruled that the title "does not comply with the plain meaning of the Legislature’s 100-word limit." Chief Justice Mike McGrath said, "The Legislature chose to place the 100-word limitation into the statute and must comply with its own law when referring a matter to the people for the vote. Furthermore, the title of LR-127 is not a mere technical violation of the statute, but is substantially in excess of the 100-word limit imposed by the Legislature." The Supreme Court also found the measure's title "complicated and confusing." Attorney General Tim Fox's spokesperson, John Barnes, stated, "Based on this new guidance from the Montana Supreme Court, the Legislature will need to revisit its rules governing the submission of referendums to voters."[9]

Campaign contributions

Constitutionality

Circulators

Deadlines

Fiscal summary

Missouri

Missouri Campaign Contributions Cap Amendment (2014)

Rex Sinquefield v. Jason Kander

Rex Sinquefield, a retired financier and frequent contributor to campaigns and candidates in Missouri, has filed a lawsuit to block the Campaign Contributions Cap Amendment from appearing on the 2014 ballot.[1]

Sinquefield and lobbyist Travis Brown are both listed as plaintiffs. They claimed that "the initiative doesn’t adequately measure the financial impact of the amendment, unfairly restricts free speech and freedom of association and contains unfair language that could manipulate voters." Brown told the Missouri Times, "This ultimately is about freedom of expression and speech. An individual should have the right to express themselves by support or opposition to a candidate or committee." Sec. of State Jason Kander responded, saying he believed the language of the measure would be upheld in court. Courts have historically struck down attempts to limit campaign contributions, saying that the ability to donate money to campaigns and candidates is a form of free expression, which is protected by the first amendment.[1]

Labor practices

Motivation of sponsors

Post-certification removal

Redistricting

Single-subject rule

Signature challenges

Voter guide

NOTE: The following tab shows a list of lawsuits, by state, that were filed in 2014 against past ballot measures.

California

Measure B (condoms)

Kayden Kross, a co-plaintiff in the federal lawsuit to overturn Measure B

A federal lawsuit was filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California on January 11, 2014 that seeks to have the federal court overturn Measure B, the Los Angeles Porn Actors Required to Wear Condoms Act. The lawsuit was filed by porn production company Vivid Entertainment. Porn stars Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.[17]

Paul Cambria is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. He said, "You don’t have to win an Oscar to be protected by the First Amendment."

The lawsuit says that Measure B should be overturned for several reasons. Those reasons include:

  • It violates the First Amendment by imposing an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of expression.
  • It attempts to regulate an area (public health) which should exclusively be regulated by state law.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored Measure B, expressed confidence that the lawsuit would fail. Tom Myers, an attorney for the group, said, "Despite what the adult industry’s lawyers are claiming in this lawsuit, Measure B is not directed at speech and as such their First Amendment claims will likely ring hollow with the court."[17]

Measure L (parcel tax)

A lawsuit was filed against Measure L, the San Leandro Unified School District parcel tax enacted in November 2012 in January 2014 on grounds similar to those in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District.[18]

Lawsuits were also filed in January 2014 against:

All the lawsuits were filed by David Brillant, the Walnut Creek attorney who successfully argued Borikas.[19]

NOTE: This tab includes lawsuits filed against proposed 2014 local ballot measures. Ballotpedia tracks local ballot measures, and includes local lawsuits that are found across news reports. To inform Ballotpedia of a local lawsuit near you, contact ballotmeasures@ballotpedia.org.
No ballot measure lawsuits have been filed in 2014. Any information on ballot measure lawsuits can be sent to Al Ortiz, Assistant Project Director of Ballot Measures.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Missouri Times, "Sinquefield takes fight over proposed campaign finance reform amendment to court," August 14, 2013
  2. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, “Petition Challenging the Legal Sufficiency of LR-126”, accessed January 27, 2014
  3. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Public View Docket," accessed January 27, 2014
  4. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Response/Objection - Petition for Write (Attorney General)," accessed January 27, 2014
  5. Missoulian, "Montana Supreme Court OKs voter registration referendum," February 5, 2014
  6. Helena Independent Reporter, "Referendum to end Election Day voter registration stays on ballot," February 6, 2014
  7. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, “Brief - Petitioners' Opening Brief”, accessed January 27, 2014
  8. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Attorney General's Brief Opposing the Petition Challenging the Legal Sufficiency of LR-17," accessed January 27, 2014
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named removal
  10. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, “Petition Challenging the Legal Sufficiency of LR-126”, accessed January 27, 2014
  11. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Public View Docket," accessed January 27, 2014
  12. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Response/Objection - Petition for Write (Attorney General)," accessed January 27, 2014
  13. Missoulian, "Montana Supreme Court OKs voter registration referendum," February 5, 2014
  14. Helena Independent Reporter, "Referendum to end Election Day voter registration stays on ballot," February 6, 2014
  15. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, “Brief - Petitioners' Opening Brief”, accessed January 27, 2014
  16. Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, "Attorney General's Brief Opposing the Petition Challenging the Legal Sufficiency of LR-17," accessed January 27, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Toronto Sun, "Porn producer sues to overturn Los Angeles condom law", January 12, 2014
  18. San Leandro Patch, "Lawsuit Challenges Measure L, San Leandro's 'Split Roll' School Parcel Tax", January 28, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 Contra Costa Tiimes, "San Leandro, West Contra Costa schools and others sued over parcel taxes", February 1, 2014

See also