ACLU withdraws HB477 opetition; referendum no longer needed

Mar 30 2011 - 10:30am

SALT LAKE CITY - The ACLU of Utah announced today that it will voluntarily withdraw its petition seeking emergency relief from the Utah Supreme Court in connection with the HB 477 referendum.

Amidst a storm of controversy over HB 477 -- the notorious "anti-GRAMA" bill -- the legislature voted last Friday, March 25, to repeal HB 477. The final vote came only hours after the ACLU filed its action, brought on behalf of sponsors and supporters of the HB 477 referendum, challenging the legislature's attempt in SB 165 to impose an unconstitutional blanket ban on all e-signatures collected in support of that referendum.

"Given the legislature's decision late Friday to repeal HB 477, the citizens' referendum to repeal the law was no longer necessary," said ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy M. Goddard. "We still intend to challenge SB 165's blanket ban on e-signatures offered in support of citizens' referenda and initiatives. We recognize, however, that an expedited ruling from the Supreme Court to protect the rights of voters who wished to sign this referendum petition is, as a practical matter, no longer necessary. We will continue to work with our clients, Nancy Lord and Janalee Tobias, and others to monitor the working group on GRAMA. We will then pursue whatever challenge, in whatever forum, that will best protect the rights of all Utah voters to participate fully in the petitioning process, including by means of modern technology that can collect and verify those voters' signatures electronically."

More information on the ACLU of Utah's lawsuit can be found here: www.acluutah.org/SB165lawsuit.html

 

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