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McCaulley Doesn’t Refute SB 189/190 Threat to First Amendment: Legislators Pass Anti-Protest Bills in Under 72 Hours

Brrr… what’s that chill?

The idea of “riot boosting,” though, is new, and opponents argue that what could constitute it is unclear. What if a person donates to a GoFundMe for protesters’ supplies or shelter, or supports protesters on social media? Could those people, even if they did not intend to incite violence, be held liable for future damages?

[Governor’s lobbyist Matt McCaulley] said he could not answer to these hypotheticals, and that each case would differ based on the facts [Sarah Mearhoff, “South Dakota Legislative Committee Pushes Through Keystone XL Bill Package Despite Tribes’, Activists’ Concerns,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2019.03.06].

The tribes, the ACLU, and other constitutionally minded Americans are deeply concerned that Governor Kristi Noem’s rushed fake-emergency anti-protest bills will turn anyone expressing opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or offering verbal or material support to activists involved in fighting a foreign corporation’s invasion of our land. Posed with hypotheticals exploring that possibility, the Governor’s lobbyist doesn’t allay our fears. He doesn’t say, “Liberal snowflakes are freaking out for no reason. This bill does not target any non-violent, Constitutionally protected speech.”

The Governor’s man gives us a Trumpian wait and see.

Governor Noem treats First Amendment rights as unanswerable hypotheticals, and the Legislature rushes to pass her bills in less than 72 hours.

Republican legislators say they are worried our university campuses are not doing enough to protect free speech. But they line up immediately behind the Governor to deny free speech rights used to oppose a foreign corporation’s oil project.

That, my friends, is corporate fascism. I welcome all suggestions for legal action to reverse this fascist regime’s actions and restore the First Amendment in South Dakota.

9 Comments

  1. Donald Pay 2019-03-07

    Well, let’s give them our answer: Don’t let it change a thing. Keep doing what your doing. Protest, give money to help out. If they try to use that law, it is going to open up a can of worms for them in discovery. They know it, so they will not be quick to charge anyone with “boosting” anything.

    In the end the guys who make up bills like this are big pansy asses. They like to intimidate, but any attempt to actually use that law will backfire on them, and they know it. They count on people being scared off by this law, not in actually using it. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

    This stuff has been pulled in other guises, albeit, not quite in the fascist way this law reads. SLAPP suits (for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) have been filed before in other states, and in South Dakota. Generally, those are done by the corporate billionaires to intimidate

  2. Debbo 2019-03-07

    I agree with Don. No way can this pathetic attempt to quash free speech stands up in court, so no one should be scared by it. Well, SD tax payers ought to be scared because it will eventually end up in court and, as usual, they will be the ones paying damages.

  3. mike from iowa 2019-03-07

    Should clear any doubt about who Northern Mississippi’s lege is working for and it isn’t the citizens.

    Geez, it takes an out of state name caller to wake old geezers in yer state to the facts of life? So it does and so I shall, Grudzilla. There’s a shot in yer grille, fella.

  4. John 2019-03-07

    It appears this “law” and political maneuvering to pass it is racist to its core.

    History shows that when the government ignores legitimate, reasonable concerns of people, but instead turns to violence; that the people respond in kind rather than submit.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-07

    Agreed. Friends of the Oglala, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, friends of the planet, friends of liberty and justice, come to South Dakota. Stand with those whom Kristi Noem and the Republicans of the South Dakota Legislature would silence.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-07

    John, this Governor’s and this Legislature’s disregard for the common welfare should prompt some serious rereadings of the Declaration of Independence. However, rather than violent revolution, can we just secede to Minnesota? Let Minnesota annex every county touched by I-29.

  7. Adam 2019-03-08

    If MN gets to annex I-29 corridor then I will be the first to make the loud and screechy case for I-94 all the way through the Black Hills as well.

    Some of us, out West, are pretty darn cool and very reasonable people – who’ve been putting up with plenty of this BS for far too long as well you folks out East. I tell ya, we live in a state elected by and populated with cross eyed puritanical fools. These people hate America while they drape themselves with the flag.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-09

    Adam, I hate to make you drive nine hours on I-90 to get to St. Paul to talk to your legislators. Wouldn’t you rather make the five-hour drive to Cheyenne? Believe me, I appreciate the coolness and reasonability of many of my Black Hills friends, and we could consider a plan where we dissolve the state into nine sovereign American Indian nations and let Minnesota administrate a few Hawaii-like islands of white reservations. But I can’t avoid some geographical practicalities.

  9. leslie 2019-06-13

    Yeah, livermont is not cool but he was conveniently “excused”from voting for this Noem anti-Indian/Environment bill that every other red neck legislator voted for. Despicable. Deplorable.

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