Another major victory for LWVPA! Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler has granted the Pa. ACLU's and LWVPA's petition to enjoin the secretary of state from counting or certifying the votes on the ballot question known as Marsy's Law. The amendment would grant crime victims the same state constitutional rights as criminal defendants. It is still on the November 5 General Election ballot.
The state has appealed the decision to the Pa. Supreme Court, but Judge Ceisler's ruling marks the first time in the history of the commonwealth that a judge has ever ordered that a ballot question not be counted or certified after the question has been printed on the ballot. Judge Ceisler decided that the amendment is unconsitutional because it is a multi-faceted question that will affect several parts of the Constitution and does not allow voters to vote on each part separately as required by the state Constitution itself.
According to the lawsuit, the proposed amendment makes multiple changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution that provide a series of new and distinct constitutional rights to victims, several of which conflict with the rights of the accused as well as the rights of the public.
Read lawsuit here.
Read Opinion here.
Read Jodine Mayberry's Nov. 1 column about Marsy's Law here.