Next came the ride to the local jail, where Hansen and her son were incarcerated with unsavory types in a community cell until 1 a.m. Hansen was sustained during this demoralizing experience by knowing she was in the right.
The transportation center remained unapologetic, demanding the power to arrest all those who gather signatures unless they fill out a detailed government form, specify future dates for petition activity, and obtain prior approval from a bureaucrat.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked, "Why are these people being harassed, and even jailed? ... You remember the Constitution, don't you, officers? It's that faded old document that charges you with protecting our liberties - the reason citizens fund your paychecks."
The battleground then shifted to the courts. Finally on a level playing field, the grandmother routed her more powerful opponents.
After hearing exhaustive testimony and working late into the night, Judge Kenneth C. Cory of the Nevada 8th Judicial District Court, Department 1, in Clark County, handed Hansen total victory. He enjoined the transportation center, the director of Motor Vehicles and other public entities from "intimidating or preventing" Hansen and her associates "from the full enjoyment of their constitutional rights to free speech and to obtain signatures of individuals on initiative and referendum petitions."
The judge also extended the deadline for collecting signatures to qualify for the ballot. It now appears likely that the voters will be able to repudiate the massive tax increase that was rammed through the legislature.
A second referendum supported by Hansen may also be put to the voters. Recognizing the problem of legislators who are also employed by state or local government, she seeks an independent legislature free from government bias.
When government employees also serve in the legislature or other elective office, which provides a powerful incentive to continue the cycle of tax and spend. Thanks to Hansen's valiant efforts, it looks like Nevadans will have the opportunity to roll back a tax increase and improve their system of government.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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