U.S Supreme Court

Updated, July 3, 2013.

Since the US Supreme Court’s decision on Hollingsworth v. Perry, several outlets have written about the impact on the Initiative and Referendum process not only in California, where the case began, but nationwide in the states that allow I&R.

Here are links to several articles on the topic:



Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the legal proponents of California’s Proposition 8 lacked standing to appeal the federal district court ruling, which had overturned the state’s voter-enacted ban on same sex marriage. In so doing, the High Court dealt a blow to citizen initiatives by blocking initiative proponents from defending their voter-enacted measures in federal court – even when state officials refuse to legally defend the initiative, thus dooming it to defeat.

On April 28, the First Circuit refused to re-hear Del Gallo v Parent, 08-1511. The original decision, issued on February 25, equated petitioning for a candidate on interior post office sidewalks with “campaigning”, and then went on the uphold the Post Office regulation against campaigning on postal interior sidewalks. The ACLU will decide soon whether to appeal this to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more

Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Arizona’s appeal on Brewer v Nader, (08-648).The high court has decided to let the decision stand nullifying the state residency requirement for petition circulators.

This case has a major impact for ballot initiative and referendum rights as well as third party candidates trying to get on the ballot.

Ballot Access News reported on the implications of the decision:

After the most expensive campaign on a social issue in history, the state Supreme Court in San Francisco will hold a hearing on the strength of the same-sex marriage ban, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Oklahoma Three Are Free

Fri, Jan 30 2009 — Source: Wall Street Journal

We’re happy to report that Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has dismissed criminal charges against three political activists and finally ended his assault on popular democracy in the Sooner State.

OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a “great day for justice” when Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson decided not to pursue criminal charges against three individuals accused of violating the state’s ban on out-of-state petition circulators, says Paul Jacob, one of the “Oklahoma Three.”

Criminal charges against three out-of-state signature gatherers were dismissed after the state’s attorney general decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review Oklahoma’s initiative petition law.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Thursday his office would stop its legal challenge of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled unconstitutional Oklahoma’s law requiring petition signature gatherers to be residents.

Oklahoma’s “Reforming the Reform Process” event is only one example of how Oklahomans are rolling up their sleeves to protect the once vibrant state initiative process. Oklahomans clearly see that the initiative process is the best tool available for reforming government and holding it accountable.

As a case from Arizona concerning a ban on non-residents circulating petitions is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the High Court just last week denied the State of Ohio’s appeal of a federal court ruling that the state’s ban on per signature payments to petition circulators is unconstitutional.