High Court Rules With ACLU on Ballot Initiatives

January 13, 1999 12:00 am

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ACLU News Wire: 1-13-99 — High Court Rules With ACLU on Ballot Initiatives

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court gave a boost to the ballot initiative movement yesterday, striking down a Colorado regulations that made it hard to get measures on the ballot, reported USA Today.

According to the story, the court said that states may not require that petition circulators be registered voters and display their names on badges, or that circulators file detailed reports with the state.

The court said that initiative campaigns involve “core political speech” protected by the First Amendment, said USA Today.

“Today’s decision is an important reminder that the state’s interest in regulating elections may not be accomplished at the expense of the First Amendment,” said Steven R. Shapiro, National Legal Director of the ACLU.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, held that the Colorado provisions imposed substantial burdens on speech and were not narrowly tailored to achieve the asserted state goals.

“Whenever a state seeks to regulate core political speech they must do so with far more precision than Colorado showed in this case,” said Shapiro.

Source: USA Today, January 13, 1999

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