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Van Hollen Successfully Defends The Constitutionality Of The Legislature's Presentation To Voters Of Marriage Amendment Ballot Question
Madison - Ruling from the bench today, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard G. Niess upheld Wisconsin's Marriage Amendment in the case McConkey v. Van Hollen. The decision dismisses a legal challenge questioning whether or not Wisconsin's marriage amendment had been properly placed before the voters.
"I'm pleased that we were able to prevail today and that the Court adopted our arguments," said Van Hollen. "We argued that the marriage amendment was properly submitted. Today's ruling defeats a legal challenge that was aimed at undermining the will of Wisconsin voters."
At issue before the Court was whether the marriage amendment as submitted to the voters during the November 2006 elections met the State Constitution's requirements for amending the Constitution. Judge Niess found that the marriage amendment ballot question did not violate the constitutional requirement that each ballot question contain only one amendment. Judge Niess found that the question was a single amendment because the propositions contained in the text related to the same subject matter and were designed to accomplish the same general purpose.
"As Wisconsin's Attorney General, I am committed to vigorously defending the state's constitution," said Van Hollen. "In this case, the Legislature acted well within its constitutional discretion in forming the ballot question."
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Balistreri represented the state in this case.