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Anti-abortion group sues to keep San Antonio Justice Charter off of May ballot

Co-founder and general counsel of Ground Game Texas Mike Siegel speaking in front of supporters of the San Antonio Justice Charter on the steps of City Hall. Supporters wear shirts and hold signs with the Justice Charter logos on them.
Josh Peck
Texas Public Radio
Ground Game Texas co-founder and general counsel Mike Siegel speaking to the press outside of City Hall before he and ACT4SA founder Ananda Tomas delivered more than 38,000 signatures in support of the petition to the city clerk.

Ground Game Texas and ACT4SA responded on Monday to a lawsuit from anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life that is attempting to pull their criminal justice reform initiative from the May ballot.

The announcement followed the verification of 20,000 signatures in support of the charter amendment by the San Antonio city clerk last week.

The petition from Texas Alliance for Life argued that the Justice Charter includes more than one subject, something that is not allowed under state law for city charter amendments, and therefore must be broken up.

A representative from the Texas Alliance for Life did not respond to TPR's request for comment.

Ground Game Texas co-founder and general counsel Mike Siegel said in a press release that the petition was “without merit” because all of the policies in the San Antonio Justice Charter — abortion and marijuana decriminalization, cite-and-release, the ban of no-knock warrants and chokeholds by SAPD, and establishing a city Justice Director — are related to the single subject of criminal justice reform.

“Ground Game Texas and Act 4 SA will intervene to defend the Justice Charter as a single, comprehensive reform that will be presented to San Antonio voters for adoption on May 6, 2023,” Siegel said in a statement.

Ananda Tomas, the founder and executive director of ACT4SA, echoed Siegel’s sentiment in her statement about the lawsuit.

“The tens of thousands of residents who signed this petition understood that each of these police reforms are part of a comprehensive approach to public safety, and we expect to vote on them in the same way they were presented — as one unified package,” Tomas said.

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