they’ve got the signatures.
An extra note of significance:
If certified for the ballot, it would be the first time since The Great Depression that Colorado voters would decide whether to repeal or reaffirm a law approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. In 1932, voters repealed a law that increased the tax on oleomargarine.
Arizona law invalidates any signatures collected for a citizens’ initiative, referedum, or recall by a particular circulator, if the circulator is paid or from out of state, and if that circulator is subpoenaed in a challenge and can’t appear in court. A new lawsuit filed this past week challenges that law. Should be interesting.
When partisan officials control the process for certifying summaries and titles for initiatives and referenda heading onto the ballot, there will be controversy along the way. This story is about alleged foot-dragging on beginning the petitioning process to validate a Missouri referendum on a new abortion law.
Evenwel v. Abbott left open the constitutional question about whether states or localities could draw districts containing equal numbers of voters.
Now, as expected, if the citizenship question remains on the next census, some states or localities could try to draw lines in this way, which would have profound effects on representation in some places.
Common Cause has announced a writing competition on partisan gerrymandering with a top prize of $5,000 and publication in the Election Law Journal.
Too bad I’ve already written an ELJ piece on partisan gerrymandering (although not one Common Cause would be likely to agree with).
Jim Snider has compiled this survey of 14 states with periodic state constitutional convention referendums along with a preliminary ranking at the Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse.
News from Maryland. In more Maryland redistricting news see this report, “Redistricting petition drive meets signature goal; Supporters expect legal challenge to congressional map.”
The referendum campaign to overturn Maryland’s congressional maps turns in 36,267 signatures. That’s just 7,294 more than the requirement — a pretty slender margin for any petition. So now, the white knuckles turn to verification of the signatures…
If this petition drive succeeds, it would put Maryland’s congressional map up for referendum. The only other such referendum over new redistricting lines that I’m aware of is the referendum over California’s state Senate lines (there was an earlier drive to put Ohio’s new lines to a referendum, since abandoned). Anyone else know of any others?
NPR, LA Times, and MSNBC report on yesterday’s decision holding that a public-sector union violated the First Amendment by imposing a special assessment for referendum-related expenses without consent. Heritage praises the decision here, Think Progress criticizes it here.
Update: Ben Sachs offers his thoughts on the decision here, arguing that it could post an “existential threat to public sector unions.”
The Washington Times reports.