Justices hear lawyers for administration, Legislature spar over amendment titles

The Dayton administration argues a 1919 law gives the Secretary of State the power to write the titles of Constitutional amendments that appear on the ballot. Lawyers for the Legislature say the Constitution gives lawmakers that authority. Supreme Court justices will need to decide who's right before the end of August, so this fall's ballots can be prepared.
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The Dayton administration argues a 1919 law gives the Secretary of State the power to write the titles of Constitutional amendments that appear on the ballot. Lawyers for the Legislature say the Constitution gives lawmakers that authority. Supreme Court justices will need to decide who's right before the end of August, so this fall's ballots can be prepared.

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Supreme Court won't extend time limits as lawyers argue amendment titles

Minnesota Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday about the titles of the Constitutional amendments that will appear on the fall ballot. Backers of the marriage and voter ID amendments want the court to get rid of the titles supplied by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and restore the original titles the Legislature wrote. The court refused to extend the time limits for attorneys to make their arguments.

Ritchie's critics urge court to reverse amendment title change

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's changes to the title that will appear over the marriage amendment on the fall ballot came under attack in papers filed with the state Supreme Court. Lawyers for Republican lawmakers and other backers of the amendment say Ritchie's changes will make voters less likely to approve the Constitutional amendment. They also argue that it's up to the Legislature - not the Secretary of State - to write the title. A hearing before the court is coming up later this month.

Critics of Voter ID amendment to court: Legislature is misleading voters

Groups that are challenging the proposed Constitutional amendment that would require an ID to vote filed paperwork with the Minnesota Supreme Court in advance of the hearing later this month. They say if the court approves the ballot question as is, it will send the message that the Legislature is free to mislead or deceive voters.

Attorney General files court papers saying amendment titles up to Sec. of State

Each side is digging in in the fight over the titles of the proposed Constitutional amendments that will appear on Minnesota's fall ballot. Attorney General Lori Swanson filed papers with the Supreme Court insisting it's up to the Secretary of State to come up with the titles. Meanwhile, a Senate committee scheduled a Friday hearing to question Secretary of State Mark Ritchie about his changes to the titles suggested by the Legislature.

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

The Minnesota Supreme Court is going to have a busy day July 31. The court Friday scheduled a case that seeks to undo Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's chosen title for the photo ID constitutional amendment the Legislature put on the November ballot. The other, previously scheduled, is for arguments over a nearly identical protest over Ritchie's title for the amendment to ban same sex marriage.

Voter ID ballot question prompts more questions from justices

The Minnesota Supreme Court had plenty of questions for lawyers arguing the merits and shortcomings of the voter ID ballot question. Groups including the League of Women Voters say the question that will appear before voters does not accurately characterize the changes the amendment would make to the Constitution. Lawyers for the Legislature say it's up to lawmakers - not the courts - to write ballot questions.

Secretary of State: MN needs final word on Voter ID language by late August

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie tells the Minnesota Supreme Court that election officials need to know by August 27th whether the voter ID question will be on the November ballot. The Legislature voted to put the Constitutional amendment before voters. But a lawsuit claims the question is misleading and should be changed or left off the ballot. Justices will hear arguments in the case on July 17th.

Walter Mondale, Kathleen Blatz form lawyers group opposed to marriage amendment

The former vice president and Minnesota supreme court justice formed Lawyers United to speak out against a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The amendment "would be a constitutional knot tying the hands of our chosen representatives as we learn from the experience of other states on the issue of marriage," they wrote in a letter to the legal community.