Hearings set on Leslie Rutledge ballot blockade | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hearings set on Leslie Rutledge ballot blockade

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Alex Gray, a lawyer in lawsuits attempting to get around Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's blockade of all ballot proposals for 2018, sends word that hearings have been set in two courts on pending suits.

The first is at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in federal Judge Kristine Baker's court. If justice prevails she'll reject Rutledge's poorly justified delay tactic in which she removed a state court challenge pending before Judge Wendell Griffen to federal court. Gray insists the only relevant issues in the case are state law and state constitutional issues, proper matters for state jurisdiction. Rutledge pulled the last-minute stunt to avoid testimony about her rejection of all 70 ballot proposals submitted to her since 2016, on redistricting, sovereign immunity, marijuana and casino gambling, to name a few.

Circuit Judge Chip Welch has a hearing at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29. He's drawn a pair of suits by Gray — one a new effort by the leader of a casino gambling amendment and the other a proposal to legalize marijuana.

Time is running short. Ballot measures must be published by June 6 to qualify for petition gathering. They can't be published until or unless Rutledge clears the ballot descriptions. Even then, backers will have only a month to gather signatures, as many as 80,000 for a constitutional amendment.

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