In re STATE QUESTION NO. 236 v. WILLIAMSON

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In re STATE QUESTION NO. 236 v. WILLIAMSON
1938 OK 494
83 P.2d 572
183 Okla. 467
Case Number: 28896
Decided: 10/07/1938
Supreme Court of Oklahoma

In re STATE QUESTION NO. 236, REFERENDUM PETITION NO. 73.PATTERSON
v.
WILLIAMSON, Atty. Gen.

Syllabus

¶0 1. STATUTES--Appeal From Ballot Title for Referendum Measure Prepared by Attorney General.
The law does not authorize an appeal from the ruling of the Attorney General disapproving the title filed with him by proponent of a referendum measure. It only authorizes an appeal from the ballot title prepared and filed by the Attorney General.
2. SAME--Constitutional Provision for Referendum--Question to Be Stated in Ballot Title.
The Constitution, section 2, art. 5, provides two methods by which measures may be referred to the people under the second power designated therein as the power of referendum. Under either method the question presented to the people is: "Shall the act or measure be approved?" The question should be so stated in the ballot title.
3. SAME--Dismissal of Frivolous Appeal.
Where it clearly appears that an appeal from the action of the Attorney General in the preparation of a ballot title is without merit and the, only effect thereof would be to work delay in submitting the measure to a vote of the people, the appeal will be dismissed without delay.

Appeal by J. C. Patterson from a ballot title prepared by the Attorney General to State Question No. 236, Referendum Petition No. 73. Ballot title as prepared by Attorney General approved and adopted.

Geo. Miller and Geo. Miller, Jr., for plaintiff in error.
Mac Q. Williamson, Atty. Gen., and Fred Hansen, Asst. Ally. Gen., for defendant in error.

RILEY, J.

¶1 This is in appeal from the action of the Attorney General in the matter of the preparation of a ballot title under which the question involved in the Referendum Petition No. 73 is to be submitted to a vote of the people, and an attempted appeal from the action of the Attorney General in disapproving the ballot title prepared and submitted by the proponent of the referendum petition.

¶2 The appeal is clearly without merit. There is no appeal from the action of the Attorney General in disapproving or rejecting a ballot title prepared and submitted by the proponent of an initiative or referendum petition. The law only authorizes an appeal from the title prepared by the Attorney General. In re State Question No. 168, Initiative Petition No. 113, Taylor v. King, 157 Okla. 120, 11 P.2d 158.

¶3 The ballot title prepared by the Attorney General in the instant case, in our opinion, complies with the law and contains such a gist of the matters involved as will fairly submit the proposition to be voted upon by the people.

¶4 In such circumstances it has been held by this court that the title prepared by the Attorney General will, as a general rule, be approved on appeal, even though the title prepared and filed by proponent may also comply with the law in all respects. Taylor v. King, supra; In re State Question No 171, Initiative Petition 116, 157 Okla. 119, 11 P.2d 160.

¶5 The ballot title contended for by plaintiff in error in so far as it attempts to submit the question as, "'Shall the measure be vetoed?" instead of, "Shall it be approved?" is clearly in error under the holding of this court on the exact question. State Question No. 216, Referendum Pet. No. 17, Tallman v. Williamson, Atty. Gen., 180 Okla. 122, 68 P.2d. 424.

¶6 Every question raised by the petition herein has been decided adversely to plaintiff in error by this court. No brief or other argument could be of any benefit in this case.

¶7 The only effect the appeal can have is to delay a vote on the question involved. The appeal is not only without merit, but is frivolous.

¶8 The ballot title prepared by the Attorney General is approved and the petition is denied.