Hey, Jason Ravnsborg! Let’s go to court!
This afternoon, Rapid City attorney James Leach filed on my behalf a complaint against the State of South Dakota, as embodied by Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, Secretary of State Steve Barnett, and Governor Kristi Noem. The complaint, filed in the Northern Division of the U.S District Court of South Dakota, asks the federal court to halt the enactment of Initiated Measure 24, G. Mark Mickelson’s successful ballot measure seeking to ban non-South Dakotans from giving money to ballot question campaigns.
I’ve explained before why IM 24 is unconstitutional. Money is speech, and freedom of speech applies to everyone from every state and in every state. South Dakota cannot deny Minnesotans the First Amendment rights that Minnesotans can exercise in Minnesota and every other state of the Union.
South Dakota voters approved this unconstitutional measure last November. As much as I respect the will of the people—my current ballot measure, the People Power Initiative, is all about restoring our ability to exercise that will—I even more deeply respect the Constitution, and the Constitution says IM 24 cannot stand.
IM 24 is scheduled to take effect July 1. This lawsuit seeks to enjoin that enactment, at least temporarily while we argue the case, but, I hope, permanently, once we convince the U.S. District Court judge (and whoever up the appeals chain is drawn into the show) that IM 24 violates the Constitution.
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, I’ll see you in court. (Hey, there’s something Jason hasn’t heard very often!)