Pennsylvania rights groups challenge Marsy’s Law ballot measure
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Pennsylvania rights groups challenge Marsy’s Law ballot measure

Two Pennsylvania civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a Marsy’s Law ballot question, a proposed constitutional amendment that would enumerate the rights of crimes victims.

The state chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women voters filed the complaint in Commonwealth Court against the acting head of the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The suit claims the measure is unconstitutional because it combines too many changes to the state constitution and that each change must be considered separately. Marsy’s Law would provide 15 new constitutional rights for crime victims. Among the most highlighted additions, a victim would have to be notified at key steps of a criminal case and be allowed to provide input. If a victim, or a victim’s family, were not notified of significant developments, they could petition courts.

Marsy’s Law is a national campaign that has been approved in at least 11 other states. Barring any changes, the proposed amendment is set to appear before Pennsylvania voters on the November 5 general election ballot.