Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Judge: Law on CO ballot measures unconstitutional | First Amendment Center – news, commentary, analysis on free speech, press, religion, assembly, petition

Judge: Law on CO ballot measures unconstitutional

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DENVER — A federal court says a Colorado law requiring that only state residents be allowed to circulate ballot petitions is a violation of the First Amendment.

The ruling Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver means a 2010 injunction that had prevented the 2009 law from being enforced will remain in place. That law would also have required signature gatherers to be paid by the hour, not by the signature.

Plaintiffs who sued the state argued that the hourly payment requirement would incentivize signature gatherers to slack off. The plaintiffs included organizers for the campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado and the libertarian Independence Institute.

Attorney David Lane, who represented the groups, says he expects the state to appeal.

Colorado secretary of state’s spokesman Rich Coolidge says officials are reviewing options.


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