Zappala defers to attorney general to fight for ballot question

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 3 weeks ago

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is withdrawing his office's motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit targeting a ballot question on victims’ rights scheduled for next month's general election.

In a statement issued Thursday, spokesman Mike Manko said attorneys for the DA's office spoke with lawyers from the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, which will represent the acting secretary of state in supporting the amendment called Marsy's Law.

“We have also reviewed their response to the lawsuit and we agree with their position and are confident that the articulation of that strong position in upcoming hearings will be successful,” Mr. Manko said.

The constitutional amendment would provide additional rights to crime victims, including notifications for plea, sentencing and parole hearings.

To get on the ballot, the amendment had to be approved by the Legislature in two successive sessions.

Last week, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the ballot question, alleging that the language is too broad and encompasses too many issues. They argue that each item of the amendment must be voted on separately.

The day after that suit was filed, Mr. Zappala, who supports Marsy's Law, filed a motion to intervene.

He said that the groups filing the complaint were politicizing the rights of crime victims, and that it was too late in the process to try to remove the ballot question.

In the acting secretary of state's response to the complaint, the attorney general's office argued that the amendment does not need to be separated into different questions because all of it revolves around a single subject matter — "securing victims' rights in the criminal cases in which they suffered direct harm.

"Every single subpart of the amendment advances this one goal."

Also in the response, the AG's office notes that more than 9,500 absentee ballots that include the question have already been returned, and the complaint against the amendment came three months after the ballot question was initially advertised.

Commonwealth Court has scheduled argument on the requested injunction to stop the ballot question for Oct. 23 in Harrisburg.

Source link
Read also:
Reuters › 2 weeks ago
Costa Rica's government said on Wednesday it defers to Chile, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and member states on how to proceed with the United Nations global climate change summit, COP25.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette › 1 month ago
The ACLU and League of Women Voters waited too long to fight a referendum on a constitutional amendment on victim’s rights, Zappala says.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette › Opinions › 0 month ago
In an interview before the May primary election, Zappala said he would gladly participate in a debate in a legitimate forum.
Fox News › 1 month ago
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon’s fight to get President Trump back on the ballot in California turned out as “a victory for voters and the First Amendment,” she told, “Fox & Friends First.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette › 1 month ago
A lawsuit seeks to keep a proposed state constitutional amendment question off Pennsylvania's Nov. 5 ballot, arguing it improperly combines several amendments that must be voted on separately.
Chicago Tribune › 0 month ago
Naperville residents will vote in March whether they think recreational marijuana should be sold in the city. Naperville City Council members voted 5-4 Tuesday to put a nonbinding referendum question on the spring 2020 ballot and approved the wording...
New York Post › 3 weeks ago
Two city police unions on Tuesday amped up their campaigns against a November ballot question that would expand the powers of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, sending tweets and letters to members urging them to vote “no” on the measure. “If...
The Boston Globe › 1 week ago
A nonbinding ballot question asking Boston residents to weigh in on changing the name of Dudley Square to Nubian Square was rejected by voters on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette › 1 week ago
Lisa Middleman hopes to upset Stephen A. Zappala Jr. for Allegheny County District Attorney on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette › 1 month ago
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google