by Max Brantley
However, there is no provision in Title 7, Chapter 9 that gives Petitioners in their capacity as taxpayer, voter, or ballot question committee the right to bring an action to review the Secretary’s decision to certify the Amendment.The response also answers a claim that the measure is improper on its face for including sports betting, a subject I mentioned earlier today.
Here's the pleading.
The Court also does not have jurisdiction because the language of the Amendment is not clearly contrary to the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions on its face. Under the Amendment, whether sports wagering that conflicts with federal law will be allowed depends on
future enabling legislation by the General Assembly. In addition, federal law does permit some forms of sports wagering such as horse racing and jai-alai
“Act 1413 very clearly repealed provisions in Arkansas law pertaining to the right of review for parties other than the sponsor of a measure. We believe that the General Assembly has the authority to enact laws dealing with the initiative process, that the statute is clear, and subsequently that the case should be dismissed.”PS: I should add that the legislation that omitted the ability for citizens to challenge signatures was in a bill sponsored by backers of the existing casinos in West Memphis and Hot Springs. Lawyers for those facilities undoubtedly had a hand in the writing. So the betting is that the omission not only wasn't accidental, but meant to make it impossible for some citizen to challenge a ballot petition.