Casino backers says amendment challenge should be dismissed | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 19, 2016

Casino backers says amendment challenge should be dismissed

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 1:03 PM

Arkansas Wins in 2016, the group proposing a constitutional amendment to allow three more casinos in Arkansas, told the Arkansas Supreme Court today that a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the proposal should be dismissed for lack of standing.

The motion says the plaintiffs in the lawsuit seeking ballot disqualification of the amendment — Chuck Lange and Bill Walmsley — are not sponsors of the amendment and have no claim on that ground against Secretary of State Mark Martin, who certified it for the ballot. They also say Lange and Walmsley haven't shown they suffered any injury by certification of the issue. Thus, the petition argues, the Supreme Court doesn't have jurisdiction in the case absent cause for them to challenge the exclusive jurisdiction of the secretary of state.

The law once provided an ability to challenge sufficiency of signatures, but the lawsuit says that statute was repealed in 2013. It was perhaps inadvertent, but the lawsuit says the law change preserved the right of 25 electors to challenge an initiative AFTER an election and also preserved the right of a sponsor of a petition to go to court over a secretary of state's decision. 

However, there is no provision in Title 7, Chapter 9 that gives Petitioners in their capacity as taxpayer, voter, or ballot question committee the right to bring an action to review the Secretary’s decision to certify the Amendment. 
The response also answers a claim that the measure is improper on its face for including sports betting, a subject I mentioned earlier today.

The Court also does not have jurisdiction because the language of the Amendment is not clearly contrary to the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions on its face.  Under the Amendment, whether sports wagering that conflicts with federal law will be allowed depends on
future enabling legislation by the General Assembly. In addition, federal law does permit some forms of sports wagering such as horse racing and jai-alai
Here's the pleading.

Said Robert Coon, a political consultant for Arkansas Wins:

“Act 1413 very clearly repealed provisions in Arkansas law pertaining to the right of review for parties other than the sponsor of a measure. We believe that the General Assembly has the authority to enact laws dealing with the initiative process, that the statute is clear, and subsequently that the case should be dismissed.”
PS: I should add that the legislation that omitted the ability for citizens to challenge signatures was in a bill sponsored by backers of the existing casinos in West Memphis and Hot Springs. Lawyers for those facilities undoubtedly had a hand in the writing. So the betting is that the omission not only wasn't accidental, but meant to make it impossible for some citizen to challenge a ballot petition.

Realistically, the Supreme Court can take up just about anything it wants to take up.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Woo. An open line

    • " '''' "olphart" Ah, there you are, you little devils. Note to iOS 11 users…

    • on September 23, 2017
  • Re: Woo. An open line

    • Now, MLB sonsofbitches. What hath Trump wrought? As Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel…

    • on September 23, 2017
  • Re: Woo. An open line

    • Next week's drive-time sports shows should be interesting.

    • on September 23, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation