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* Federal Judge Winmill To Be Praised

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  • jail4judges
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ____________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California December 6, 2001
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2001
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      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      ____________________________________________________
      Los Angeles, California                                         December 6, 2001 
       
      Valuable Door Opens In Idaho
      For State Initiatives
       
      Just this Friday, November 29th, 2001 Federal Judge Lynn Winmill  overturned Idaho's 1997 State law that effectively closed down the state's initiative process from the citizens. This judicial decision will now make the advancement of the JAIL4Judges Initiative in Idaho so much easier.  -Ron Branson
       
       
      Federal judge overturns ballot initiative statute
      Judge: Law puts rural voters at unfair advantage
      By Chuck Oxley
      Associated Press


      BOISE -- A federal judge struck down as unconstitutional an Idaho law that restricts the gathering of signatures for ballot initiatives. U.S. District
      Judge Lynn Winmill issued a 17-page decision Friday and granted a motion for summary judgment brought by the Idaho Coalition United for Bears and other political groups.

      Initiatives qualify for the ballot through petitions signed by registered
      voters. An Idaho law passed in 1997 requires anyone trying to qualify an
      initiative for the ballot to gather the signatures of 6 percent of the
      registered votes in each of 22 counties. That was the key fault, according
      to Winmill´s finding.

      "Because over 60 percent of Idaho´s population resides in just 9 of the
      state´s 44 counties, it easy to envision a situation where three-fourths of
      Idaho´s voters sign a petition but fail to get it on the ballot because they
      could not collect 6 percent of the vote in rural counties," Winmill wrote.
      "This scheme effectively gives rural voters preferential treatment..."
      Deputy Attorney General Kirsten Wallace had argued for the state that the
      multi-county distribution law encourages the statewide discussion of an
      issue, since a portion of each county must sign petitions.  Before 1997,
      signatures could be gathered anywhere in the state, allowing initiative
      groups to collect thousands at big events such as fairs in Idaho´s
      most-populated counties.  Since the law passed, no initiatives have
      qualified for the Idaho ballot, though several groups began unsuccessful
      signature drives.  Three individuals and two organizations brought the
      lawsuit against the state: term limits advocate Don Morgan; Kootenai County Commissioner Ron Rankin; the Idaho Coalition for Bears and its leader, Lynn Fritchman; and the Initiative and Referendum Institute.  Voters in 1996 defeated the coalition´s initiative to ban hunters from bear-baiting.

      Winmill also found unconstitutional a related section of law that makes it a crime for anyone to "willfully or knowingly" lie to obtain signatures on a
      petition. Winmill said the provision was vague and could allow a prosecutor to charge a circulator for "willfully circulating a petition containing a false statement, even though the circulator did know about the false statement."


       

       
      J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
      JAIL's very informative website is found at www.jail4judges.org
      JAIL proposes a unique new addition to our form of government.
      JAIL is powerful! JAIL is dynamic! JAIL is America's ONLY hope!
      JAIL is spreading across America like a fast moving wildfire!
      JAIL is making inroads into Congress for federal accountability!
      JAIL may be supported at P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA 91603
      To subscribe or be removed:  AddRemove@...
      E-Groups may sign on at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jail4judges/join
      Open forum to make your voice heard JAIL-SoundOff@egroups.com
      Ask not what J.A.I.L. can do for me, but ask what I can do for J.A.I.L.
       
      "..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
       
      "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
      striking at the root."                         -- Henry David Thoreau    <><
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