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The '''Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative''' is proposed as an amendment to the [[Oklahoma Constitution]].  
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{{Nook2008}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Oklahoma State Question No. 737''' or '''Civil Rights Initiative''' would have prohibited the state of Oklahoma from discriminating or giving preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
  
Similar measures are being sponsored by the [[American Civil Rights Initiative]] in several other states for the 2008 ballot, including [[Colorado Civil Rights Initiative 2008|Colorado]], [[Missouri Civil Rights Initiative 2008|Missouri]], [[Arizona Civil Rights Initiative 2008|Arizona]] and [[Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative (2008)|Nebraska]].  The combined effort is known as [http://www.supertuesday2008.org/index.html Super Tuesday for Equal Rights].
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This measure was '''withdrawn from consideration''', following a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. Supporters acknowledged that the verification rate for the signatures they turned in would have to be unrealistically high in order to make the ballot.
  
On December 10, 2007, the Oklahoma effort became the first of the similar efforts to turn in signatures to qualify for the ballot.<ref>[http://www.okpns.com/2007/12/how-long-will-it-be-before-they-go-to.html ''How long will it be before they go to jail, Drew?''}</ref>
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This measure was proposed as an [[Initiated constitutional amendment|citizen-initiated constitutional amendment]] to the [[Oklahoma Constitution]].
  
==Ballot Qualification Requirements==
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The proposed [[ballot]] wording was:
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<blockquote>The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.</blockquote>
  
[[Initiative]] organizers have 90 days from September 10, 2007 to gather 138,970 signatures in order to qualify for the 2008 ballot.<ref>[http://okinsider.com/readstory.oki?type=headline&storyid=0780Z3ZYH Signature gathering underway for civil rights initiative] Oklahoma Insider, October 10, 2007</ref>
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==Supporters==
  
===Organized petition blocking campaign===
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The measures was sponsored by Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative. It was also supported as part of a national effort by the [[American Civil Rights Initiative]], a group founded and chaired by [[Ward Connerly]]. Connerly rose to prominence when he spearheaded a similar effort in California in 1996, [[California Proposition 209 (1996)|Proposition 209]].
  
In early October, an organized [[petition blocking]] campaign to prevent [[circulator]]s from successfully collecting signatures was initiated.<ref>[http://www.kswo.com/global/story.asp?s=7175132 ''Group urges voters not to sign what they call misleading petition'']</ref>  The "Decline to Sign Coalition" is led by Oklahoma City representative Mike Shelton.  Shelton has also proposed legislation in the Oklahoma legislature that would make it illegal to [[paid circulator|pay circulators]] on a per-signature basis.<ref>[http://community.cnhi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/662100401/m/6561082011 ''politicos trying to kill the Oklahoma ballot initiative process?'']</ref> Proponents of the ballot measure argue that the "Decline to Sign" movement is similar to the ultimately unsuccessful efforts in [[Michigan]] in 2006 to prevent the [[Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (2008)|Michigan Civil Rights Initiative]] from reaching the ballot.<ref>[http://equalitytalk.com/talk/?p=28 ''Decline to Sign: Same Playbook'']</ref>
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Similar measures were being sponsored by the [[American Civil Rights Initiative]] in several other states for the 2008 ballot, including [[Colorado Civil Rights Initiative (2008)|Colorado]], [[Missouri Civil Rights Initiative (2008)|Missouri]], [[Arizona Civil Rights Initiative 2008|Arizona]] and [[Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative, 424 (2008)|Nebraska]]. The combined effort is known as [[Super Tuesday for Equal Rights]].
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==Opponents==
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In early October, an organized [[petition blocking]] campaign to prevent [[circulator]]s from successfully collecting signatures was initiated.<ref>[http://www.kswo.com/global/story.asp?s=7175132 ''Group urges voters not to sign what they call misleading petition'']</ref>  The "Decline to Sign Coalition" was led by Oklahoma City representative Mike Shelton.  Shelton had also proposed legislation in the Oklahoma legislature that would make it illegal to [[paid circulator|pay circulators]] on a per-signature basis.<ref>[http://community.cnhi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/662100401/m/6561082011 ''politicos trying to kill the Oklahoma ballot initiative process?'']</ref>
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Proponents of the ballot measure argued that the "Decline to Sign" movement was similar to the ultimately unsuccessful efforts in [[Michigan]] in 2006 to prevent the [[Michigan Civil Rights Amendment, Proposal 2 (2006)|Michigan Civil Rights Initiative]] from reaching the ballot.<ref>[http://equalitytalk.com/talk/?p=28 ''Decline to Sign: Same Playbook'']</ref>
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===Petition blocking and harassment campaign===
  
 
On November 14, an incident of an individual working the prevent the collection of signatures on the Oklahoma Civil Rights initiative was captured and posted on YouTube.<ref>[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csr2rnWvn94 ''YouTube video of Opposition member harassing and intimidating a Civil Rights Initiative circulator'']</ref>
 
On November 14, an incident of an individual working the prevent the collection of signatures on the Oklahoma Civil Rights initiative was captured and posted on YouTube.<ref>[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csr2rnWvn94 ''YouTube video of Opposition member harassing and intimidating a Civil Rights Initiative circulator'']</ref>
  
==Language of the Initiative==
 
  
The proposed [[ballot]] wording is "The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting."
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===Lawsuit challenges petition validity===
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Ten Oklahoma voters, including State Reps. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City and Jabbar Shumate of Tulsa, filed a lawsuit in early March 2008 with the state Supreme Court challenging the validity the petition.
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They argued the petition was an attempt to trick voters into ending equal opportunity programs. Chuck Norton, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma, charged that the signature-gathering process was riddled with errors.<ref name="suithits">[http://www.kten.com/Global/story.asp?S=7983346 KTEN-TV: "Supreme Court suit hits petition," March 7, 2008]</ref>
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==Status==
 
==Status==
On Dec. 10, 2007 the proponents of the [[initiative]] submitted 22 boxes of signatures to [[valid signature|validated]] by the [[Oklahoma Secretary of State]].<ref>[http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=071211_1_A15_hThem13853 ''Affirmative action foes file'', Tulsa World, Dec. 11, 2007]</ref>
 
  
==Similar initiatives==
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On December 10, 2007, the Oklahoma effort became the first of the [[Super Tuesday for Equal Rights]] efforts to turn in signatures.<ref>[http://www.okpns.com/2007/12/how-long-will-it-be-before-they-go-to.html ''How long will it be before they go to jail, Drew?'']</ref><ref>[http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=071211_1_A15_hThem13853 ''Tulsa World'': "Affirmative action foes file," Dec. 11, 2007]</ref>
  
* [[Missouri Civil Rights Initiative 2008]]
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Validity of the signatures was challenged by the American Cicil Liberties Union,<ref name="suithits"/> and on  April 4, 2008, lawyers for the Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative filed a motion with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to withdraw the measure from consideration.<ref name="tulsaworld">[http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080405_1_A13_hBack65184 ''Tulsa World'': "Backers say they don't have enough valid signatures to get the proposal on a ballot," April 5, 2008]</ref>
* [[Arizona Civil Rights Initiative 2008]]
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* [[Colorado Civil Rights Initiative 2008]]
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==News coverage==
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The motion to withdraw said that the validity rate of signatures would have to be unrealistically high in order to qualify for the ballot. The backers "do not want to waste this Court's efforts nor taxpayer money on pursuing State Question 737 when (the backers) are reasonably certain that it will fail to garner the requisite number of signatures."<ref name="tulsaworld"/>
  
[http://newsok.com/article/3135378/1190916629 Affirmative action targeted] NewsOK.com, September 27, 2007.
 
  
[http://chronicle.com/news/article/2144/4-states-are-new-targets-for-bans-on-affirmative-action-preferences 4 States Are New Targets for Bans on Affirmative-Action Preferences] The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 23, 2007.
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==Similar initiatives in other states==
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* [[Missouri Civil Rights Initiative (2008)]]
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* [[Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (2008)]]
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* [[Colorado Civil Rights Initiative (2008)]]
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* [[Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative, 424 (2008)]]
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==See also==
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*[[Oklahoma 2008 ballot measures]]
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*[[Campaign finance requirements for Oklahoma ballot measures]]
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*[[Oklahoma Initiative and Referendum Law]]
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*[[Oklahoma signature requirements]]
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*[[Petition drive deadlines in 2008]]
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==News coverage==
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*[http://newsok.com/article/3135378/1190916629 NewsOK.com: "Affirmative action targeted," September 27, 2007]
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*[http://chronicle.com/news/article/2144/4-states-are-new-targets-for-bans-on-affirmative-action-preferences ''Chronicle of Higher Education'': 4 States Are New Targets for Bans on Affirmative-Action Preferences," April 23, 2007]
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*[http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0511/p08s01-comv.html A Leg Up for Minorities on Campus] Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2007.
  
[http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0511/p08s01-comv.html A Leg Up for Minorities on Campus] Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2007.
 
  
 
==Opinion commentary==
 
==Opinion commentary==
  
[http://equalitytalk.com/talk/?cat=9 Archive of Equality Talk OkCRI blog entries]
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*[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121702588516086143.html?mod=googlenews_wsj ''Wall Street Journal'': Opinion: "The Far Left's War on Direct Democracy," July 26, 2008]
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*[http://equalitytalk.com/talk/?cat=9 Archive of Equality Talk OkCRI blog entries]
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==External links==
  
==External Links==
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*[http://oklahomacri.org/ Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative web site]
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*[http://www.acri.org/ American Civil Rights Initiative web site]
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*[http://raceblind.org Race Blind: blog on "Super Tuesday" civil rights initiatives]
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*[http://www.adversity.net/supertuesday2008/oklahoma.htm Adversity.Net: Oklahoma-specific]
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*[http://www.supertuesday2008.org/ Super Tuesday 2008: web site promoting 2008 ballot initiatives supported by Ward Connerly]
  
*[http://oklahomacri.org/ Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative] Official website of the Oklahoma Initiative (under construction).
 
*[http://www.acri.org/ American Civil Rights Initiative] Website of national organization supporting the Oklahoma initiative.
 
*[http://raceblind.org Race Blind] A blog about all four "Super Tuesday" civil rights initiatives.
 
*[http://www.adversity.net/supertuesday2008/oklahoma.htm Adversity.Net] Oklahoma-specific.
 
*[http://www.supertuesday2008.org/ Super Tuesday 2008] Website promoting ballot initiatives supported by Ward Connerly in multiple states in 2008.
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
<references/>
 
  
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{{reflist}}
  
[[Category:Oklahoma]]
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{{Oklahoma}}
[[Category:Current Initiatives]]
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[[Category:Did not make ballot in 2008]]
[[Category:2008 ballot measures]]
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[[Category:Did not make ballot in Oklahoma]]
[[Category:Civil rights ballot measures]]
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[[Category:Did not make ballot, affirmative action]]
[[Category:Oklahoma ballot measures]]
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Latest revision as of 09:44, 11 July 2011

Not on Ballot
Proposed allot measures that were not on a ballot
This measure did not or
will not appear on a ballot
The Oklahoma State Question No. 737 or Civil Rights Initiative would have prohibited the state of Oklahoma from discriminating or giving preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

This measure was withdrawn from consideration, following a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. Supporters acknowledged that the verification rate for the signatures they turned in would have to be unrealistically high in order to make the ballot.

This measure was proposed as an citizen-initiated constitutional amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution.

The proposed ballot wording was:

The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

Supporters

The measures was sponsored by Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative. It was also supported as part of a national effort by the American Civil Rights Initiative, a group founded and chaired by Ward Connerly. Connerly rose to prominence when he spearheaded a similar effort in California in 1996, Proposition 209.

Similar measures were being sponsored by the American Civil Rights Initiative in several other states for the 2008 ballot, including Colorado, Missouri, Arizona and Nebraska. The combined effort is known as Super Tuesday for Equal Rights.

Opponents

In early October, an organized petition blocking campaign to prevent circulators from successfully collecting signatures was initiated.[1] The "Decline to Sign Coalition" was led by Oklahoma City representative Mike Shelton. Shelton had also proposed legislation in the Oklahoma legislature that would make it illegal to pay circulators on a per-signature basis.[2]

Proponents of the ballot measure argued that the "Decline to Sign" movement was similar to the ultimately unsuccessful efforts in Michigan in 2006 to prevent the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative from reaching the ballot.[3]


Petition blocking and harassment campaign

On November 14, an incident of an individual working the prevent the collection of signatures on the Oklahoma Civil Rights initiative was captured and posted on YouTube.[4]


Lawsuit challenges petition validity

Ten Oklahoma voters, including State Reps. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City and Jabbar Shumate of Tulsa, filed a lawsuit in early March 2008 with the state Supreme Court challenging the validity the petition.

They argued the petition was an attempt to trick voters into ending equal opportunity programs. Chuck Norton, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma, charged that the signature-gathering process was riddled with errors.[5]


Status

On December 10, 2007, the Oklahoma effort became the first of the Super Tuesday for Equal Rights efforts to turn in signatures.[6][7]

Validity of the signatures was challenged by the American Cicil Liberties Union,[5] and on April 4, 2008, lawyers for the Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative filed a motion with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to withdraw the measure from consideration.[8]

The motion to withdraw said that the validity rate of signatures would have to be unrealistically high in order to qualify for the ballot. The backers "do not want to waste this Court's efforts nor taxpayer money on pursuing State Question 737 when (the backers) are reasonably certain that it will fail to garner the requisite number of signatures."[8]


Similar initiatives in other states


See also


News coverage


Opinion commentary


External links


References