The Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the Attorney General’s call for the General Assembly to clarify the ballot measure process
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced that in light of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision today in Couch v. Rutledge, she is certifying ballot titles for proposals to raise the minimum wage, authorize casino gaming, and revise the legislative redistricting process. Attorney General Rutledge is rejecting a proposal that would legalize marijuana because of insufficiencies and fundamental flaws in the text of the measure.
“I have issued opinions on ballot proposals based on standards set forth in statutes as well as case law of the Arkansas Supreme Court,” said Rutledge. “However, the Arkansas Supreme Court has once again muddied the waters on these standards by offering no insight in its decision requiring me to certify or substitute language of a ballot title that I had previously rejected. In light of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s failure to put forth clear standards, I am certifying these proposals in an exercise of caution to ensure Arkansans are given an opportunity to put these measures on the ballot.”
“To be clear, today’s certifications do not prevent a citizen from legally challenging a ballot proposal once the required number of signatures are submitted to the Arkansas Secretary of State. Therefore, it is a real possibility that any one or all of the certified proposals will not appear on the ballot in November.”
“The Arkansas Supreme Court’s failure to include clear standards and reasoning has only exacerbated the confusion surrounding ballot title submissions. As I stated last week, I am calling on the General Assembly to create a system ensuring Arkansans have a clear and fair process to amend the constitution and place initiatives on the ballot.”