Attempting To Repeal Enacted Legislation By Referendum Is Political Ploy; Bumper Crop Of Republican Sour Grapes

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Feature, Newsletters

The New Mexico Family Action Movement holds itself out as being  dedicated to the “sole purpose is protecting families and preserving freedom in New Mexico.”  The New Mexico Family Action Movement works in association with the Family Policy Alliance(FPA) and Family Policy Alliance Foundation (FPAF) that are Christian ministries that defend faith and protect families by organizing, educating and mobilizing the social conservative movement in America.


The New Mexico Family Action Movement is targeting for repeal 6 laws in New Mexico passed during the 2023 legislative session on abortion, elections and gender-affirming care. The 6 laws targeted for repeal are as follows:

House Bill 7: Prohibit public bodies from blocking access to abortion services and gender-affirming care.

Senate Bill 13: Shield doctors and nurses who provide abortion services and gender-affirming care from civil or criminal legal liability.

Senate Bill 397: Enshrine school-based health centers in state law.

House Bill 207: Expand scope of state’s Human Rights Act to cover gender identity.

House Bill 4: Change voting laws by expanding automatic voter registration and establishing permanent absentee voter list.

Senate Bill 180: Update state’s election laws by establishing mandatory training for poll watchers and clarifying process for updating voter rolls.


The New Mexico Family Action Movement is fighting an uphill battle with the petition-referendum process.  Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has denied 23 referendum petitions due to technical problems with the paperwork and legal objections. The Secretary of State’s office has directed county clerks not to provide voter lists to those pushing the repeal effort, and warned voters that current petitions circulating are not valid since they have not been approved.

On June 8, 13th District Court Judge James Noel rejected a challenge by the New Mexico Family Action Movement to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s authority to determine whether New Mexico laws targeted for repeal are exempt from referendum under the state Constitution. The specific challenge was to Toulouse Oliver’s ruling denying the referendum petition targeting House Bill 7 which prohibits public bodies from limiting access to abortion services and gender-affirming care.

Judge Noel granted the Motion to Dismiss filed by the Secretary of State’s Office.  The court upheld Toulouse Oliver’s determination that the bill meet the exemption for “public peace, health or safety” of the state.


These actions are a reflection of the extreme length’s ultra right conservative organizations opposed to woman’s right to chooses and the Republican party will go to interfere with the legislative process and to interfere with a woman’s right to choose, access to abortion services and gender-affirming care, and to stop protections and expanding voters rights.

It is painfully obvious that when Republicans are not successful at the ballot box, not successful in the legislative process, they revert to the courts. When they are not successful in the courts, Republicans then call into question the motivations of the judiciary.  Thus far, New Mexico politics is experiencing a bumper crop of Republican “sour grapes”.

Excerpted from the Blog of Pete Dinell, June 14, 2023


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