I’m not the only one who thinks the “emergency clause” Republicans are using in House Bill 1069 to repeal Initiated Measure 22 is unconstitutional. Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson, leaders of TakeItBack.org, say this ploy by Republicans to insulate their repeal from a public vote is bogus:
“This is completely outrageous,” Weiland said, “not only because the Legislature obviously believes its judgment is superior to that of the people of our state, but also because they are arrogantly—and improperly—applying the ‘emergency clause’ to this legislation when there obviously is no emergency present.”
…“It is highly ironic,” Samuelson said, “that the South Dakota Legislature not only has chosen not to listen to the expressed will of the people of our state, the very people who pay their salaries, but the Legislature is not even listening to the legal experts in its own Legislative Research Council. What is also ironic is that members of the Legislature charge that the South Dakota Anti-corruption Act is unconstitutional, when it is their own remedy that is clearly unconstitutional!” [TakeItBack.org, press release, 2017.01.24]
And if Republican legislators insist on using the emergency clause to quash a referendum drive, TakeItBack.org is signaling it’s ready to lawyer up and fight:
“This needs to be challenged in the courts, and almost certainly will be,” Samuelson concluded [TakeItBack.org, 2017.01.24].
Represent South Dakota provides this sampling of negative press that House Bill 1069 has earned the South Dakota Legislature on the national stage (not that anyone will notice, since the President of the United States is destroying America’s reputation by threatening to go to war against an ally for oil):
- The Hill: SD Republicans move to dismantle voter-passed ethics reforms
- Washington Post: South Dakota Republicans are about to get rid of the state’s first independent ethics commission
- MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes: South Dakota voters pass anti-corruption law, GOP lawmakers declare state of emergency to get rid of it
- Huffington Post: South Dakota GOP Rushes To Repeal Ethics Reforms Passed By Voters
If TakeItBack.org and Represent SD do litigate, they should throw SB 67 into court as well. The only way voters can put their will into law without the Legislature undoing it is to amend the state constitution, and the Legislature is using emergency-claused SB 67 to make it 88% harder for South Dakotans to make such amendments.