Supreme Court defers amendment challenge | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 22, 2010

Supreme Court defers amendment challenge

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 11:55 AM

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today that a lawsuit challenging a three-part constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature must first be heard in circuit court. The Supreme Court said it had "original jurisdiction" to hear only challenges to amendments initiated by the people, not those referred by the legislature, as was the case with ballot Issue 2.

It gave no hint of how it would rule on the merits of the case, which contends that the legislature rolled up three separate measures — on consumer interest, on interest on government bonds and on bonds for energy efficiency projects — into one. There are also technical issues over the ballot title.

An identical suit was already pending in Circuit Judge Mary McGowan's court. She'd delayed action so that the Supreme Court could decide the original jurisdiction question.

Here's today's opinion. Issue 2 will remain on the ballot. It's possible a final decision could come after the election. The court could rule that votes not be counted or the election voided.

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