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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good News on the Initiative Process

As I have previously noted, Mississippi's already-difficult initiative process was dealt a serious blow in 1998, when out-of-state petition circulators were outlawed. Four federal appeals courts have struck down similar laws in other states, and the U. S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the state of Arizona's appeal of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals's ruling in Brewer v. Nader.

The attorney general of Oklahoma, Drew Edmonson, today announced that he won't appeal the 10th Circuit's decision in Yes on Term Limits v. Savage to the Supreme Court. The Oklahoma ban on nonresident circulators was enacted in 1969.

"Edmondson said the chance of prevailing at the Supreme Court was slim."

He likely figured that, since the Supreme Court is considering hearing the Arizona case, it would not accept both the Arizona and the Oklahoma cases.

Edmondson, who has gubernatorial ambitions, also dropped the outrageous criminal charges against Paul Jacob and two other individuals for violating the ban on nonresident circulators.

The "Brewer" in Brewer v. Nader, incidentally, is Arizona's secretary of state. She'll likely be in the news again soon, as she's in line to become governor as soon as Gov. Janet Napolitano is confirmed as a member of President Obama's cabinet.

I believe that the Supreme Court will uphold the 9th Circuit and strike down the Arizona law. If it does, a suit could then be brought against Mississippi's similar law, and it would be an easy case.

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