by
The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s order entering a declaratory judgment finding that Senate Joint Resolution 8 was not referred in accord with article 19, section 22 of the Arkansas Constitution and issuing a writ of mandamus ordering Secretary of State Mark Martin to refrain from counting, canvassing, or certifying any votes cast for or against the resolution. Appellee filed a complaint seeking a declaration that the resolution at issue, designated as “Issue No. 1” on the ballot for the November 6, 2018 general election, was unconstitutional, along with a request for either a writ of mandamus or injunctive relief. The circuit court granted Appellee’s request for declaratory relief, finding that Issue No. 1 violates article 19, section 22. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the submission of Issue No. 1 violates article 19, section 22; and (2) therefore, Appellee was entitled to both a declaratory judgment and a writ of mandamus. View "Martin v. Humphrey" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s petition challenging the sufficiency of a statewide-initiative petition entitled “An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act,” a petition that was on the November 6, 2018 ballot, holding that there was no merit in Petitioner’s claims. The Supreme Court appointed a special master in this matter, who entered his findings that the petition had sufficient signatures to qualify for placement on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Relying on Stephens v. Martin, 491 S.W. 3d 451 (Ark. 2014), the Supreme Court denied this petition, holding that Petitioner’s claims were without merit. View "Zook v. Martin" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court in granting a petition for writ of quo warranto and ordering that ballot titles and summaries of three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution be stricken from the November 2018 general election ballot, holding that the petition was improperly granted. The amendments at issue were Amendments 7, 9, and 11. In reversing the decision of the circuit court and ordering that the amendments appear on the ballot for the November 2018 general election, the Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) abused its discretion in granting the petition because the standard for obtaining quo warranty relief was not satisfied; and (2) incorrectly found any deficiency in the proposals or ballot summaries on the merits. View "Detzner v. Anstead" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of the League of Women Voters and enjoining Kenneth Detzner, Secretary of the Florida Department of State, from placing Revision 8 on the ballot for the November 2018 general election, holding that the ballot language was defective. The revision at issue sought to revise Article IX, Section 4(b) of the Florida Constitution and allow the power to authorize new charter schools to be assigned to any of a variety of potential public or private entities, rather than district school boards. The circuit court concluded that both the ballot text and summary failed to inform voters of the chief purpose and effect of the proposal and that the ballot summary was affirmatively misleading. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the ballot summary failed to inform voters of the revision’s true meaning and ramifications, and therefore, the ballot language was clearly and conclusively defective. View "Detzner v. League of Women Voters of Florida" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the petition filed by Petitioners claiming that the popular name and ballot title of Issue Number 4, a proposed constitutional amendment concerning casino gambling, were insufficient, holding that Issue Number 4 was proper for inclusion on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Specifically, the Court held that all of the twenty-seven challenges brought by Petitioners in support of their claims failed, that there was no fatal infirmity with the popular name or ballot title of Issue Number 4, and that the proposed amendment’s popular name and ballot title were sufficient. View "Stiritz v. Honorable Mark Martin" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the original action brought by Petitioner, individually and on behalf of Citizens for Local Choice, challenging the sufficiency of the ballot title with regarding to Issue Number 4, which provides for the issuance of four casino licenses in the state, holding that Petitioner did not meet his burden of proving that the ballot title was insufficient. Specifically, the Court held that Issue No. 4 was proper for inclusion on the November 6, 2018 ballot because (1) the popular name and ballot title of the issue gave voters a fair understanding of the issues presented, and (2) the scope and significance of the proposed changes in law were not misleading and allowed voters to reach an informed decision for or against the proposal. View "Knight v. Martin" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order entering a preliminary injunction in favor of Plaintiff in his challenge to Act 633 of 2017, which concerns verification of voter registration, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits because Act 633 comports with the requirements in Amendment 51 to the Arkansas Constitution for its amendment. The circuit court entered a preliminary injunction order prohibiting and enjoining Appellants from enforcing the requirements of Act 633. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding (1) this action was not subject to the sovereign-immunity defense; (2) Plaintiff had standing to challenge the Act’s constitutionality; but (3) Act 633’s constitutional amendment is germane to Amendment 51 and consistent with its policy and purpose and is therefore constitutional. View "Honorable Mark Martin v. Haas" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ sought by Petitioners requesting the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing Respondent, the West Virginia Secretary of State, to list Donald Blankenship as a candidate for the United States Senate on the general election ballot as the nominee of the Constitution Party of West Virginia, holding that there was no legal right in Petitioners to the relief sought and no legal duty on the part of Respondent to do the thing which Petitioners sought to compel. Specifically, the Court held (1) W. Va. Code 3-5-23(a) prohibits unsuccessful primary candidates from running as nomination-certificate candidates in the general election; (2) the ballot access restriction in section 3-5-23(a) is constitutional; and (3) because Blankenship unsuccessfully ran in the 2018 Republican primary election, he was now prohibited from gaining access to the 2018 general election ballot for the same office by means of a nomination-certificate candidacy. View "State ex rel. Blankenship v. Warner" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus sought by Relators seeking to compel Respondents, the Lucas County Board of Elections and its members, to place a proposed charter amendment on the November 6, 2018 general-election ballot, holding that the submission of the proposed charter amendment to the board of elections did not follow the specific procedure set forth in Ohio Const. article XVIII, sections 8 and 9. Sections 8 and 9 require the legislative body of the municipality to pass an ordinance instructing the board of elections to place the proposed amendment on the ballot upon submission of a sufficient petition. The proposed charter amendment in this case. Relators in this case sought to amend the city charter of Toledo. Relators, however, failed to allege or prove that the Toledo city council passed an ordinance submitting the proposed charter amendment to the electors. The Supreme Court denied mandamus relief, holding that the proposed charter amendment was never properly before the Board, and therefore, Relators did not have a clear legal right to their requested relief, and the board did not have a clear duty to provide it. View "State ex rel. Maxcy v. Saferin" on Justia Law

by
Appellant Ronda Marcy, resident of Matanuska-Susitna Borough, filed suit against the borough and citizens who had sponsored a borough ballot initiative prohibiting commercial marijuana businesses. The suit, filed 32 days before the borough election, sought declaratory and injunctive relief that the initiative was unconstitutional and unlawful and should be removed from the election ballot. Given the imminent election, the superior court ordered the case held in abeyance pending the initiative vote’s outcome. After borough voters rejected the initiative, the court dismissed the case as moot. Marcy appealed, arguing the merits of her declaratory judgment claim should have been heard under the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine and that the superior court issued procedurally defective orders, violated her due process rights, and erroneously awarded attorney’s fees against her. The Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the superior court because it did not abuse its discretion in its procedural decisions; the resident’s due process rights were not violated; the Court declined to invoke the public interest exception to address the moot claims; and the resident failed to properly bring her attorney’s fees appeal. View "Marcy v. Matanuska-Susitna Borough" on Justia Law