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First Amendment Library:
William C. Danks


In Colorado the proponents of a new law, or an amendment to the State Constitution, may have their proposal placed on the ballot at a general election if they can obtain enough signatures of qualified voters on an "initiative petition" within *416 a 6-month period. One section of the state law regulating the initiative process makes it a felony to pay petition circulators.[1] The question in this case is whether that provision is unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that the statute abridged appellees' right to engage in political speech and therefore violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. We agree.