Marijuana and abortion will be on the ballot in San Antonio, Texas Supreme Court rules

No other petitions against the San Antonio Justice Charter can be filed until after May's citywide election, the court also ruled.

click to enlarge Act4SA Executive Director Ananda Tomas has fired back at critics of the Justice Charter, including City Attorney Andy Segovia and SAPOA President Danny Diaz. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
Act4SA Executive Director Ananda Tomas has fired back at critics of the Justice Charter, including City Attorney Andy Segovia and SAPOA President Danny Diaz.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the San Antonio Justice Charter, which would decriminalize abortion-related care and small amounts of marijuana within city limits, will be on the ballot during San Antonio's upcoming municipal elections in May.

What's more, all other legal challenges to the Justice Charter, also known as Proposition A, will have to wait until after the election.

Austin-based antiabortion group, Texas Alliance for Life, filed a petition in February arguing that the Justice Charter was illegal and that the charter changes proposed in the proposition needed to be voted on individually.

Although the petition filed by Texas Alliance for Life garnered support from state GOP members, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state's highest court ultimately ruled that it doesn't have the power to "stymie" an election. Further litigation would only be appropriate if the measure passes, the justices added.

"The power of initiative is reserved to the people, not granted to them," Justice Jane N. Bland wrote in her opinion. "Courts must not lightly usurp that power. Our role is to facilitate elections, not to stymie them, and to review the consequences of those elections as the Legislature prescribes."

Although Act4SA and other progressive groups lobbying in favor of the Justice Charter defeated the Texas Alliance for Life's filing, advocates must still campaign against vocal critics. San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia has argued that most of the proposed changes put forward in the Justice Charter, even if approved by voters, would be illegal under state law and therefore overturned in the courts.

San Antonio Police Officers Association President Danny Diaz has also railed against Proposition A, arguing that the measure would make it harder for police officers to do their jobs in an already understaffed department.

However, Act 4 SA Founder and Executive Director Ananda Thomas has fired back at those claims during previous press conferences, citing similar measures passed in Austin as evidence of the Justice Charters's legality.

She also argues that citing low-level offenders would allow police to focus on finding and prosecuting violent offenders.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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