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Judge allows crime-victims amendment to stay on ballot

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge on Friday rejected an attempt to remove from the April 7 ballot a constitutional amendment that will give crime victims in Wisconsin more rights.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington denied an attempt by challengers of the amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, to block its inclusion on the ballot. If voters approve the amendment, a legal challenge could be brought again to block the law from taking effect.

Myranda Tanck, a spokeswoman for the group advocating for passage of the amendment, praised the ruling and said she and her colleagues look forward to continue to inform voters about the amendment.

The proposed amendment was approved with broad bipartisan support by the Wisconsin Legislature. If passed, the state constitution would then be amended to include new victims’ rights while duplicating some existing protections.

The lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Justice Initiative and three voters alleged that the question is invalid and unconstitutional but the judge disagreed.

Ten states — California, Ohio, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida — have enacted a version of the law. It is named for Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, a California woman who was killed in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend after he was released from jail without her being notified.

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