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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear arguments in Marsy's Law lawsuit

The plaintiffs argue the ballot measure was improperly drafted. Marsy's Law guarantees rights for crime victims and their families.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the Marsy's Law ballot question lawsuit; Marsy's Law guarantees rights for crime victims and their families. 

The plaintiffs in the case argue the ballot question was drafted improperly and should not go into effect. They also say the ballot question made too many changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution which they say is a violation of a constitutional requirement that no single ballot question given to voters can contain multiple subjects or alter more than one section of the Constitution. 

The plaintiffs argue Marsy's Law would add about 15 new Constitutional rights for victims of crimes, including notifications about cases and being allowed to attend and weigh in on plea hearings, sentencing, and parole proceedings.

The ACLU has also been vocal against Marsy's Law. It has said the law could disrupt the justice system and would flip innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent. 

The state has argued that because the amendment's changes are all related to a single purpose of advancing victim's rights, the votes should be counted. Marsy's Law advocates say it's been nearly two years since Pennsylvania voters overwhelming voted in favor of Marsy's Law and this lawsuit has disenfranchised Pennsylvania voters and has delayed victims from gaining the constitutional protections they deserve and voted for. 

Following the Pa. Supreme Court Hearing, Marsy's Law advocates are expected to gather outside the Capitol to discuss what was decided in the courtroom and push for this ballot question to go into effect.

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