Supreme Court strikes down Mark Ritchie's proposed amendment titles

Categories: Law
mark ritchie supreme court.jpeg
The court struck down Ritchie's amendment titles in favor of the ones designated by the MNGOP-controlled legislature.
SEE ALSO: Mark Ritchie's amendment title: "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples"

In a 4-2 ruling published this afternoon, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie does not have the authority to determine the names of constitutional amendment places on ballots.

Minnesota's constitution is unclear about whether the secretary of state or the legislature has the power to determine amendment titles. One statute says the secretary of state shall "provide an appropriate title for each question printed on the [constitutional amendment] ballot," while another says "A majority of the members elected to each house of the legislature may propose amendments to this constitution." The court ruled that the latter is the best interpretation.

The opinion reads (click here to read the full opinion):
The parties' dispute here centers on statutory interpretation -- the extent of the Secretary of State's authority under [statute] to provide a ballot title different from that designated by the Legislature in the bill approving the ballot question for a proposed constitutional amendment. We conclude [that statute] does not authorize the Secretary of State to provide a title for a ballot question for a proposed constitutional amendment that is different from the title chosen by the Legislature in the bill accompanying the proposed amendment.
From the Star Tribune:
Legislators had called the Photo ID amendment: "Photo Identification Required for Voting." Ritchie, following a state law that says the Secretary of State writes ballot titles, substituted this language: "Changes to In-person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots."

For marriage, legislators called the amendment: "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman." Ritchie's title reads: "Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples."
Though this might seem like a matter of semantics, it's well established that slight changes in the way questions are worded can have a big impact on the way people respond. And with polling indicating that the marriage amendment vote will be close, semantics could be all it takes to sway the outcome one way or the other.

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20 comments
novenator
novenator

Funny how the 4 people that voted to keep the slanted titles bestowed by the extremist Republican legislature were appointed by Republican Tim Pawlenty, ain't it?

No Venator
No Venator

Shawn, the point is that Ritchie's name for the Amendments is actually more representative of what they really are than the mnGOP titles. It's the same things with DOMA, it doesn't defend marriage at all, it destroys it with a govt mandate that guarantees bigotry against people that are born gay. Same thing with the "Patriot" Act that the authoritarian cons came up with, and hundreds of other mistitled bills. Besides that, Don't blame Ritchie, there was legal precedent for the SoS titling amendments in a way that is clear for voters. The 4 Republican-appointed activist judges just happened to disagree (surprise surprise).

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

Aaron, I'm sorry, but absent your telling us which justices voted which way, and who appointed those justices, I think you're missing well over half the story.

 

I'm guessing it was a party line vote, and that the excusifications should be seen in that light.

Shawn Egli
Shawn Egli

what faux news do you speak of?? I get most of my news from NPR and if you were referring to FOX I never listen to it. By the way no matter what they were to call the amendment the day after we get to vote, Gay marriage will still NOT be legal in MN no matter if this measure passes or not.

Shawn Egli
Shawn Egli

what faux news do you speak of?? I get most of my news from NPR and if you were referring to FOX I never listen to it. By the way no matter what they were to call the amendment the day after we get to vote, Gay marriage will still NOT be legal in MN no matter if this measure passes or not.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Yeah Shawn, all he does is just go around changing names... it IS about time he was stopped.... He tried to change my name but I was like whoa, dude, this is America... and if you try to change my name you're going to have to deal with a little lady I like to call Liberty... dont' try to change her name either!!!!!!! In all seriousness, Shawn Egli... forget whatever propaganda you've swallowed... time to grow up and turn off Faux News.

Shawn Egli
Shawn Egli

About time he learns he can not go around changing names.. I hope the people of MN remember this next time he is up for election

A1batross
A1batross

The official Republican titles are now the "Stop the F%$s from Fondling your Schoolchildren Amendment" and the "Keep the N&*$%#s from Voting Amendment"

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson

The GOP is so full of hate, or at least that's all I hear out of them, that it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @novenator 

The original voter ID title was:

"Photo Identification Required for Voting."

 

Ritchie's changed it to read:

"Changes to In-Person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots."

 

GOP lawmakers gave the marriage amendment the title:

"Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."

 

Ritchie's used the title:

"Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples."

 

Slanted titles huh?

Please explain to all of us how  Ritchie's wording made the ballot question easier to understand.

 

 

 

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @mark.gisleson 

 

Justices Paul Anderson and Alan Page were the dissenters on both rulings.

Justices Paul Anderson was appointed by Republican Arne Carlson

Justice Alan Page was placed by a general election.

 

Read the Supreme Court decision here-  http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mncourts.gov%2FDocuments%2F0%2FPublic%2FClerks_Office%2FSC%2520Opinions%2FOPA120920-0827.pdf&ei=SfM8UNCxIMiByAGPm4CgCQ&usg=AFQjCNGQWSII0xfZb8nX7-1woWkrIKcjHA&sig2=sFMhtDi-XEt6k9sOknvBBA&cad=rja

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @A1batross the "Voter ID" bill will provide everyone eligible to vote with a FREE photo ID.   

 

Sec. 2. [201.017] STATE-SUBSIDIZED IDENTIFICATION. 2.29    Subdivision 1. Issuance of identification cards. (a) The Department of Public 2.30Safety shall provide a Minnesota identification card as described in section 171.07, 2.31subdivision 3, to any applicant who is eligible to vote in Minnesota and who does not 2.32possess a valid Minnesota driver's license or state identification card. The department 2.33may not require the applicant to pay a fee for issuance of an identification card under 2.34this section. A state-subsidized identification card may only be applied for at a driver's 2.35licensing facility operated by the Division of Driver and Vehicle Services. 3.1(b) Upon application for a state-subsidized identification card, including upon 3.2application for a renewal, duplicate card, or when a new card is required as a result of 3.3a change of address, an applicant must present verification that the applicant is at least 3.418 years of age, is a citizen of the United States, and will have maintained residence in 3.5Minnesota for at least 20 days immediately preceding the next election. 3.6    Subd. 2. State-subsidized identification card account. A state-subsidized 3.7identification card account is established in the special revenue fund. Money in the 3.8account shall be appropriated by law to the Department of Public Safety for purposes of 3.9providing state-subsidized identification cards to individuals qualifying under this section. 3.10The commissioner of public safety must report to the legislature at least monthly on 3.11expenditure of funds from this account.

 

It's amazing how easily the ignorant get caught up in the lies of the left.

Awe yes the democrats, trying to keep the nigga down...

novenator
novenator

@TheConservativeJerkThe conservative title of "Photo Identification Required for Voting" doesn't even begin to cover the suppression contained within this measure. Funny, because I thought you cons were against "government" mandates (especially unfunded ones), and for freedom. There's nothing more free than our constitutional right to vote!On Marriage:

"Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman." vs. "Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.

 

The status of marriage has been between 2 people who love each other for tens of thousands of years. It's only in monotheistic dominated cultures that are sexually repressed where they try to deny the same rights to people that are born gay. Again, so much for the "freedom" that cons constantly regurgitate. They want to deny freedom from everyone who isn't just like them.

 

A1batross
A1batross

 @TheConservativeJerk If  libruls or Democrats were the ones pushing to issue every citizen an official government ID card, so-called 'conservatives' would be screaming about conspiracies involving the UN and black helicopters.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @TheConservativeJerk  @A1batross Just like in Pennsylvania where nearly a million voters have until the October cut off to get their new ID from one of 73 places that can issue Voter IDs, 13 of which are only open one or two days a week.

 

Just lots of word games from people desperately trying to stop other citizens from voting. This is beyond criminal, it's treasonous. There is nothing lower than someone who would steal your vote by pretending you're not eligible even though you've live in this country all your life but tragically may not be white enough for the Dixie-pwned GOP where old white people go to get sand packed up their ass by professional ass frackers.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @novenator  @TheConservativeJerk  @A1batross A big, strong, virile government that knows what goes on in your bedroom but refuses to audit your taxes or make the "we built this" crowd pay for the infrastructure they used while building their crappy businesses that can never seem to pay workers a living wage or guarantee them any assurance of employment beyond the day to day hell that is privatized America.

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