Saturday, May 29, 2004

Voter initiative under attack


The voters in Wyoming will very likely throw these two bums out.

I think they've all got copies of the same rulebook.

Two years ago, two career politicians in Montana -- a
Democratic senator and a Republican senator -- filed
an "emergency" lawsuit against Montana's term limits
law. This was some ten years after voters had passed

The Montana lawsuit failed, but now the Wyoming
Supreme Court has ruled 5-0 to outlaw the statutory
term limits which Wyoming voters had passed in 1992
by a whopping 77 percent majority.

As in Montana, the Wyoming lawsuit was filed by two
state legislators, a Democrat and a Republican, about
to be termed out of office. Yep. Politicians are
always cheerfully bipartisan when their entrenched
incumbency is at stake.

The pair claimed that the voters' exercise of the
right of citizen initiative was "unconstitutional."
Even though it was exercised just as it was intended
to be exercised -- as a curb of the arrogance and
excess of officeholders refusing to listen to their
own constituents.

Fortunately, not all Wyoming legislators are so
cynical. After the decision, Representative Becket
Hinckley of Cheyenne immediately proposed a
constitutional amendment to impose term limits once
again. If passed, such an amendment could not be
unilaterally weakened by the career politicians (who
had already stretched a six-year limit to a 12-year
limit). And such an amendment could not be
unilaterally revoked by the court, either.

Let's keep our fingers crossed. The battle ahead is
going to be a tough one, but in previous fights with
their legislators, Wyoming voters have proven they
don't give in easily.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

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