Last week, Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob testified as an expert witness in a two-day hearing before Circuit Court Judge Mary McGowan, who is being asked to issue a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Act 1413, pending a trial on whether the statute, passed earlier this year by legislators, violates the political rights of Arkansans under the Arkansas and the U.S. Constitutions.
On November 13, an injunction was issued in Ohio’s Southern District Court for the case of Citizens in Charge, Inc. et al. v. Husted, which challenges Ohio’s residency requirement laws. This decision enjoins the state from enforcing the provisions of Senate Bill 47, which places restrictions on petition circulators in violation of their Constitutional 1st Amendment rights.
The decision, made by Judge Watson of the Columbus division of the Southern District of Ohio, indicated that the law violated political speech protected by the First Amendment.
San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Steven Greenhut wrote at Reason.com last week that “Californians will need to pay close attention” to proposed reforms of the state’s initiative process, arguing that, “Unfortunately, some recent initiative reforms have been more about self-interest — about rigging the football game, if you will — than about helping the public have a more fair and informed political debate.”
Noting that Californians have enjoyed the power of the initiative for 102 years, Greenhut explained that even though some questionable special interests have “proposed” some questionable initiatives for their own benefit, the initiative process in the Golden State remains a critical check by the people on their legislature.