The Attorney General’s Office must determine if petitions meet certain constitutional requirements, including whether the measure addresses any subjects that the Massachusetts Constitution excludes from the petition process. You can participate in this process in several ways.
One way to get involved in the petition review process is by submitting a memorandum of law by the Friday after the petition-filing deadline (the Friday after the first Wednesday in August). The memorandum should include legal reasons why the Attorney General’s Office should or should not certify the measure in accordance with Amendment Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution. A memorandum does not need to be in any particular form and can be filed by email.
Joint submissions by one or more person or organizations are encouraged. Submissions arguing against certification on policy grounds, rather than legal reasons, cannot be considered.
Another way to get involved is to review and comment on draft summaries of petitions. Draft summaries are released by the Attorney General’s Office later in August after the petitions are filed. You can also submit a proposed summary of the measure by the Friday after the petition-filing deadline.
If you submit a memorandum or draft summary, you should also send a copy to the petitioner or a representative of the petitioner. Their contact information will be listed with the initiative petition on Mass.gov.
If you wish to participate in the review process in any way, please fill out and submit the participant form.