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Lord v. Bell (2011)

25 March 2011 Published in Resolved Cases

Participatory Democracy - Representing two sponsors of a grassroots led referendum to repeal H.B. 477, "Government Records Amendments," the ACLU of Utah filed suit against Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell on March 25, 2011, for refusing to count e-signatures collected in support of that referendum. The law on which Lt. Gov. Bell relied, S.B. 165, "Election Law Amendments," contains a blanket ban on any e-signatures collected in support of any referenda or initiatives. The ACLU's lawsuit contended that SB 165 violates the state and federal constitutional rights of Utah voters.

During a special session convened on the same day the lawsuit was filed, H.B. 477 was overturned, and the ACLU of Utah withdrew its petition seeking emergency relief from the Utah Supreme Court. The ACLU of Utah still intends to challenge S.B. 165’s unconstitutional ban on e-signatures in the future and for now is monitoring the use of the law.

ACLU of Utah's Memorandum of Points and Authorities (PDF) >>
ACLU of Utah's Petition of Extraordinary Relief (PDF) >>
The Lord Declaration (PDF) >>
The Lord Declaration Exhibit 1 (PDF) >>
The Tobias Declaration (PDF) >>
The Goddard Declaration (PDF) >>