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Proposition 4 (SJR 6) (Propuesta 4)

Official Ballot Language:The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.Lenguaje oficial en la boleta electoral:Enmienda constitucional que autoriza a la legislatura a requerir que un tribunal notifique al fiscal general de una impugnación de la constitucionalidad de una ley estatal y autoriza al legislador a imponer un período de espera antes de que el tribunal pueda dictaminar que la ley estatal es inconstitucional.Explanation:Proposition 4 would require a court to notify the state attorney general when a party to litigation files a petition, motion, or other pleading challenging the constitutionality of a state statute. Courts must wait 45 days, after providing the notice, before entering a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.In 2011, the state legislature passed a statute with a similar notice and waiting period, but in 2013, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Proposition 4 is designed to provide a constitutional basis for the notice and waiting period to restore the 2013 law. Explicación:La Propuesta 4 requeriría que un tribunal notifique al procurador general del estado cuando una parte de un litigio presenta una petición, movimiento, u otra declaración cuestionando la constitucionalidad de una ley estatal. Los tribunales deben esperar 45 días, después de dar la notificación, antes de entrar en un juicio que dictamine el estatuto como inconstitucional. En 2011, la legislatura estatal aprobó una ley con un aviso y período de espera similar, pero en 2013, el Tribunal de Apelaciones de Texas dictaminó que la ley era inconstitucional. La Propuesta 4 está diseñada para proporcionar una base constitucional para la notificación y el período de espera para restablecer la ley de 2013.
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Arguments

Proposition 4 ensures the state has an opportunity to defend the constitutionality of its laws.

The proposed amendment would not alter the state’s separation of powers doctrine nor restrict the ability of courts to strike down laws as unconstitutional.

This amendment would only provide the attorney general with notice so the attorney general could offer assistance to defend a state law. It would not change the authority of the attorney general’s office over criminal matters.
The constitution should not be amended in a way that could undermine the state’s separation of powers doctrine. Each branch of the government should be able to exercise its powers without interference from another branch.

The legislature should not establish procedures that delay a Texan’s right to pursue and receive relief from unconstitutional laws.

Under current law, in criminal cases the state prosecuting attorney, not the attorney general, represents the state. This law could create confusion regarding the attorney general’s role in criminal cases.

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