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Judge Bars Marsy's Law From Taking Effect If Voters Approve It

Bret Hartman
Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III, left, and his mother Marcella Leach lead the march with a photo of his sister Marsy Nicholas during the Orange County Victims' Rights March and Rally, Friday, April 26, 2013, in Santa Ana, Calif.

Votes in a referendum about enshrining victims' rights in Pennsylvania's constitution aren't going to be tallied or certified while a legal challenge to the amendment is pending.

Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday that was requested by voters and the state League of Women Voters.

The amendment on Tuesday's ballot would enshrine in the state constitution a set of rights for victims, including to be notified about, attend and weigh in during plea hearings, sentencings and parole proceedings.

Ceisler says she granted the injunction because the amendment would have immediate, profound and in some cases irreversible consequences for the rights of accused people and the criminal justice system.

The amendment is part of a national Marsy's Law campaign for victims' rights.