The ACLU of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center challenged restrictions passed in 2013 restricting the right of Arkansans to propose new laws or to reject those passed by the state legislature or a local legislative body. A state is not required to have an initiative and referendum process, but if it does, we believe it should be fair and accessible to the average person without deep pockets. We said that the new rules made the process so expensive and burdensome it had the effect of discouraging average Arkansans from engaging in this form of direct democracy. The court agreed; but when the state appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, that court upheld the restrictions.

Status: It is now much more difficult for the average Arkansan to participate in the initiative and referendum process than it is for people or entities with plenty of resources.

Date filed

July 14, 2016


Arkansas Supreme Court


Lost appeal