Ninth Circuit Dismisses Challenge to Alaska Ban on Out-of-State Circulators on Standing

On June 24, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Robert Raymond does not have standing to challenge the Alaska ban on out-of-state circulators. Raymond v Fenumiai, 13-35090. Here is the very brief opinion.

Raymond lives in Wisconsin and is a professional petitioner. His Complaint said he wanted to work on Alaska initiatives. But the U.S. District Court, and now the Ninth Circuit, says in order to have standing, he should have mentioned a particular initiative he wants to work on. The Ninth Circuit was 2-1. The dissent, by Judge J. Clifford Wallace, is longer than the decision itself, and says the panel should have remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court so that Raymond could amend his Complaint. The majority decision confines the discussion of standing to a two sentences, “‘He alleged only that he has been active on behalf of Alaska political causes before, and he intends to circulate petitions in Alaska for initiatives, referenda, and recall campaigns if the Alaska laws prohibiting him fro doing so were not enforced.’ Statements of this abstract nature do not confer Article III standing.” The decision will not be published, and it does not indicate which of the two judges in the majority wrote it. Those two judges were Morgan Christen, who formerly was on the Alaska Supreme Court, and Kim Wardlaw.

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