Laws and Court Cases

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Entries - Entry Category: Laws and Court Cases - Starting with I

Initiatives and Referenda

Arkansas’s adoption of key elements of “direct democracy” (specifically, a statewide initiative and referendum process) stands out in the South. The fact that Arkansas adds another policymaking body—the voters of the state acting at the ballot box on measures placed on the ballot through their own petition signatures—to the typical representative system of democracy continues to shape the political rules of the game in Arkansas a century after the process’s creation. It also reflects the legacies of the Progressive and Populist political movements in the state. Proponents of direct democracy—the initiative, referendum, and recall—argued that taking total decision-making power away from legislative bodies could lessen the influence of special interests, reduce corruption in politics generally, and more fully empower rank-and-file …

Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act

aka: Act 137 of 2015
In response to the 2014 passage of a broad antidiscrimination ordinance by the city council in Fayetteville (Washington County), barring discrimination in the city on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, Senator Bart Hester, a Republican of Cave Springs (Benton County), introduced Senate Bill 202 in the 2015 regular session of the Arkansas General Assembly. A parallel version of the legislation was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Bob Ballinger, a Republican of Hindsville (Madison County). This legislation barred local governments in Arkansas from passing any ordinance that “creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.” The stated goal of the legislation was “to improve intrastate commerce by ensuring …