Nevada Senate Bill 549 (2007)

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Nevada Senate Bill 549, or SB 549, was enacted by the Nevada State Legislature in June 2007. It was invalidated by the U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro on September 28, 2008, who said the law is unconstitutional and ordered Secretary of State Ross Miller not to enforce it.[1][2][3]

SB 549 was sponsored by Dean Rhoads, a Republican state senator.[4] SB 549 requires signatures totaling 10 percent of the statewide voter turnout in the last general election, from each of Nevada's counties.[5]

SB 549 is one of two new laws enacted in Nevada in 2007 that impose new regulations and restrictions on the initiative process in Nevada. The other, Nevada Assembly Bill 604 (2007), requires anyone who gathers signatures to be registered with the Nevada Secretary of State and mandates a campaign finance reporting schedule that is more frequent and burdensome than what Nevada requires from candidates running for office.[6]

On February 14, 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of the law.[7] In its filing, the ACLU said that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had "already struck down a virtually identical Nevada statute" in the case of ACLU v. Lomax.[8] The federal court agreed with the ACLU and found the new law unconstitutional. The case is known as Marijuana Policy Project v. Miller.

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