Supreme Court & Amendments 31 Jul 12

The Minnesota Supreme Court hears arguments today (TUE) in separate lawsuits over the rewriting of ballot titles for two proposed constitutional amendments. Backers of the amendments on marriage and voter identification sued Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, the state’s top election administrator, after he changed the titles that will appear above the questions on the November ballot. Amendment supporters say the Democratic secretary of state is trying to sway voters in an improper overreach of his authority. Ritchie contends a law dating back to 1919 requires him to provide titles for ballot questions. Only the Legislature has the power to put constitutional questions on the ballot. Republican lawmakers, including the chief authors of both amendments, are leading the lawsuits. The court is expected to rule within a month.