Friday, September 15, 2006

"Essentially the same" is not "substantially the same": the Nebraska Supreme Court denies efforts of casino gambling promoters to place new casino constitutional initiative on the 2006 ballot because it would be "essentially" the same as the defeated 2004 initiative, and so contrary to the Nebraska Constitution "resubmission" clauseState ex rel. Lemon v. Gale, S-06-909, 272 Neb. 295. The resubmission clause, "Article III sec 2 states: "The same measure, either in form or in essential substance, shall not be submitted to the people by initiative petition, either affirmatively or negatively, more often than once in three years" The Nebraska Supreme Court finds that barring constitutional initiatives that are "essentially" the same for three years meant that the 2006 casino initiative to introduce one casion per congressional district was essentially the same as the 2004 defeated initiative that would have permitted the legislature to introduce gambling legislation. The district court had erroneously equated "esentially" with "substantially." New Jersey had permitted successive ballot initiatives in the 1970s to reintroduce casino gambling because the second measure was not "substantially " the same as the earlier defeated one. Young v. Byrne, 144 N.J. Super. 10, 364 A.2d 47 (1976). We conclude that the essential substance of the 3 Casinos Initiative submitted for 2006 and Initiative 417 submitted to the electorate in 2004 is the same: amending the constitution to authorize enactments permitting the operation of games of chance. We therefore determine that the district court erred in ruling that inclusion of the 3 Casinos Initiative on the 2006 general election ballot would not violate the resubmission clause and in ordering Gale to proceed with signature verification and to submit the measure to the Attorney General for ballot title preparation.

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