Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules State Question 777 Stays on the November BallotMon, 08 Aug 2016 19:11:43 CDT
State Question 777 will stay on the ballot. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the proposed Constitutional Amendment that is known as "Right to Farm" stays on the November 8 general election ballot despite a legal challenge brought by State Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, Save the Illinois River, Ed Brocksmith and John Leonard.
According to the legal ruling- available here- released by the State Supreme Court, the Justices wrote that while the lower court may have made their ruling for the wrong reason- they would agree with the District Court and permit SQ777 to remain on the upcoming general election ballot. The Justices wrote "Here, the district court dismissed the petition by granting the Appellees' motion to dismiss on the grounds that State Question 777 was not facially unconstitutional, effectively dismissing the petition. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's dismissal of the case, but do so on the basis that the district court should have abstained from the addressing legislative referendum before voted on by the people."
Critics filed suit in Oklahoma County District Court but lost in their bid to keep the question off the ballot. They then filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The supporters of State Question 777 are pleased to put the legal challenge behind them. The Tulsa World quotes Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan as saying “The legal challenge to State Question 777 was nothing but a last ditch effort by radical in-state and out-of-state groups to silence the voice of Oklahomans,” said Tom Buchanan, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “Thanks to the wisdom of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the measure now will be decided by Oklahoma voters, rather than the liberal minority.”
The President of Save the Illinois River, Denise Deason-Toyne expressed disappointment back in May with the District Court decision against their lawsuit, but has not commented on the Supreme Court ruling upholding the District Court decision.
Both the supporters and opponents of State Question 777 have established websites to make their cases- click here for the Vote Yes website- and click here for the Vote No website.
Our most recent update on the State Question looked at the money raised through the end of the second quarter by both sides- click here to jump there.
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