Nebraska Initiative Rule Violates US Constitution
Nebraska’s threshold for placing initiatives and referendums on the ballot violates the Firsts Amendment in giving preference to voters in rural counties, a federal judge ruled.
At issue is a stipulation in the Nebraska Constitution that requires petitioners to acquire signatures from “5 percent of the registered voters of each of two-fifths of the counties of the state.”
According to this math, an initiative or referendum petition must be circulated in at least 38 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
Plaintiff Kent Bernbeck, took issue with the requirement on the grounds of free speech and equal protection.
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