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Constitutional Amendments-“Marsy’s Law”

WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: Wisconsin Justice Initiative, Inc. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission

Case No.: 2020AP002003

Officials: Brian Hagedorn, J.

Focus: Constitutional Amendments-“Marsy’s Law”

When the Wisconsin Constitution was adopted in 1848, it included a process enabling amendments—— an act the people of Wisconsin have seen fit to do almost 150 times. A proposed amendment must be approved by a majority of both houses of the legislature in two successive legislative sessions. Wis. Const. art. XII, § 1. Once it passes that test, the proposed amendment is submitted to the people. Id. If a majority vote yes, it becomes part of the constitution. Id. A victim’s rights amendment termed “Marsy’s Law”, by its sponsors was ratified by the people in April of 2020. In this case, Wisconsin Justice Initiative, Inc. and several citizens (collectively “WJI”) argue that Marsy’s Law was adopted in violation of the process spelled out in the constitution.

The circuit court granted declaratory judgment for WJI, concluding that the ballot question failed to meet requirements as to content and form. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Mary’s Law was validly submitted to and ratified by voters, as required by the constitution.


Decided 05/16/23

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