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October 31, 2014

State Supreme Court to hear marriage, photo ID title arguments on same day

Minnesota Supreme Court judges: Clear your calendars on July 31. It’s going to be a hectic day.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for that day for two high-profile cases involving controversial November ballot issues, the Star Tribune reports.

One involves a case that seeks to undo Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s chosen title for the photo ID constitutional amendment, which would require voters to show identification at polling places, the newspaper reports. The Court had already scheduled arguments for July 31 for a nearly identical protest over Ritchie’s title for the amendment that would effectively ban same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are taking aim at Minnesota’s chief election official, with allegations that DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has unlawfully campaigned against the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment, MRP reports. During a hearing of the state government committee Friday, several GOP lawmakers suggested that Ritchie had overstepped his authority and may have violated campaign finance laws by criticizing the amendment during public appearances.