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Supreme Court asked to weigh in on Austin rideshare referendum

Of course it is.

Uber

The Texas Supreme Court has been pulled into the ongoing battle between Uber and the City of Austin.

An Austin resident, supported by Uber, has asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on the ballot language for a new measure regulating vehicle-for-hire companies within the city, scheduled to come before voters on May 7.

“The adopted ballot language wholly fails to inform voters as to what they are voting for,” reads the request, filed by Samantha Phelps, an active Uber supported who helped collect signatures for a petition vying to overturn a stricter vehicle-for-hire ordinance approved by the city council. “The Council falsely portrayed the Proposed Ordinance as something that only takes away and does not give. That portrayal could not be further from the truth.”

[…]

The approved ballot language asks voters if the original December ordinance should be repealed and replaced with an ordinance that would, “prohibit required fingerprinting, repeal the requirement to identify the vehicles with a distinctive emblem, repeal the prohibition against loading and unloading passengers in a travel lane, and require other regulations for Transportation Network Companies?”

The writ claims this language will “mislead Austin voters” as it does not address specifics of the proposed measure.

The writ reads, “the proposed ballot language gives recognizable descriptions of the regulations repealed by the Proposed Ordinance, but only the scantest vague reference to the regulations imposed by the Proposed Ordinance.”

See here for the background. Maybe we just need to pass a law requiring the Supreme Court to write the language of all ballot referenda in the state from here on. It would just save time, and might reduce the number of lawsuits filed after the election by the losing side claiming that the voters were too stupid to know what they were voting on. The Austin Chronicle has more.

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2 Comments

  1. joshua ben bullard says:

    ive looked at it, i would suspect that the tx supreme would error on the side of caution and rule in favor of the public having mass option of transit by prevailing with uber,besides that i have predicted that the voters of austin in imasse will vote heavy in ubers favor.

  2. […] here for the background. An Uber spokesperson is quoted in the story saying that the court’s order […]