Our Newsbeats:

  • The Federal Vacancy Count

    June 25, 2015

    This month’s Federal Vacancy Count includes nominations, confirmations and vacancies from May 27, 2015, to June 23, 2015. Nominations, confirmations and vacancies occurring on and after June 24 will be reflected in the July report. June saw vacancies on the federal judiciary continue to grow as there were no new confirmations and a handful of new transitions to senior status. The vacancy warning level remained at blue this month after four new vacancies, two new nominations and no new confirmations. The vacancy percentage rose to 6.8 percent, and the total number of nominees waiting for confirmation rose to 18. The number of vacancies of Article III judges rose to 59 out of 874. A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, see our Federal Court Vacancy Warning System.

    Vacancies by court

    New vacancies

    District of Massachusetts

    Douglas Woodlock

    District of New Jersey

    Stanley Chesler

    Middle District of Florida

    John Steele

    Northern District of Iowa

    Mark Bennett

    New confirmations

    There were no new confirmations in the past month.

    New nominations

    President Barack Obama on the nominations:

    District of Nebraska


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  • Texas legislators send measures on taxes, hunting to November ballot

    June 2, 2015

    Legislators in Texas spent the month of May deciding which constitutional amendments to send to the November 2015 ballot. Ultimately, a two-thirds majority in each legislative chamber agreed to put seven measures before voters, with issues ranging from taxes to hunting and fishing.

    While the next round of certified statewide ballot measures will not be voted on until November, local ballot measures will be appearing on today’s ballot in California, including proposals concerning medical marijuana dispensaries in Riverside and Yucca Valley and funding for a streetcar project in Sacramento. In August, voters in Nashville and Davidson County could have the opportunity to downsize the County Metropolitan Council from 40 members to 27 members if the initiative signature count comes back successful.

    Looking ahead to 2016, two certified amendments in Oklahoma, one dealing with the right to farm and the other with effectively enforcing the death penalty, are receiving attention and are sure to be talked-about issues next year.

    Seven amendments will go before Texas voters in November

    Though Texas already comes up in second place for longest state constitution, the state legislature is asking voters to add just short of 1,000 new …

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  • Memphis Election Review: Mayor defeated, five council races head to runoffs

    October 9, 2015

    By Ballotpedia’s

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  • California lawmakers pass controversial vaccine bill

    June 29, 2015

    This week’s tracker includes a look at a mandatory vaccination bill in California, a charter school funding controversy involving the governor and house speaker in Maine, and a state senator on trial in New York.

    California State Legislature

    CALIFORNIA: On June 29, 2015, the California State Legislature passed a controversial vaccine bill. The state Assembly passed Senate Bill 277 on June 25 by a vote of 46 to 30, while the state Senate passed the bill in mid-May by a vote of 25 to 11.[1][2] The state Senate concurred with the amendments on June 29 and passed the bill by a vote of 23 to 14.[3] The bill has now been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for his signature.[4] The governor has taken no official stance on the issue, but Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, said in a statement, “The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit, and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered.”.[5] Senate Bill 277, which developed out of the measles outbreak at Disneyland, would require that parents show proof of their children’s vaccinations before they …

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  • Ballot Law Update Mid-Year Report: 19 laws approved in 15 states

    June 26, 2015

    As of June 26, 2015, Ballotpedia was covering 139 bills concerning ballot measure law that were proposed or reconsidered during the 2015 legislative sessions of 38 states. Of the total, 48 were pending, 19 were approved, 45 had been defeated or abandoned, and 27 were carried over to 2016. Most of the bills—133—were introduced this year, and the other six were carried over from the 2014 legislative session in New Jersey.

    By the third week of June 2015, the legislative sessions of 32 states had ended. This mid-year report looks at the notable changes to laws governing ballot measures that have been enacted in the first half of 2015, as well as the notable bills that have been abandoned or defeated. It will also look at an interesting legal argument over the constitutionality of judicial recalls in Nevada. For a list of all the bills Ballotpedia is tracking in 2015 and to see which bills might still pass, read this page.

    Notable approved legislation

    Throughout the first half of 2015, 19 different bills altering the laws governing direct democracy have been approved across 15 states. Many of these bills were discussed in …

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      Ballot Law Update

Press Release

Ballotpedia Will Hold Webinar on Presidential Ballot Access Laws & Deadlines
Register to learn about the complex state specific requirements for presidential candidates FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristen Mathews, Director of Editorial Communications Tel: (608) 957-7202 E-mail: Kristen.Mathews@Ballotpedia.org Madison - October 20, 2015: In order to get on the ballot, a candidate for president of the United States must meet a variety of complex, state-specific filing requirements … Read More