Marty Jackley filed four affidavits from his clients yesterday in the lawsuit he’s arguing to overturn Initiated Measure 24. Nathan Sanderson of the South Dakota Retailers, Steve Willard of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association, David Bordewyk of the South Dakota Newspaper Association, and Thomas Barnett, former director of the South Dakota bar and now a Florida resident, all explain to the U.S. District Court of South Dakota why they want to overturn our impending and unconstitutional ban on out-of-state contributions to ballot question campaigns.
The single best statement in these affidavits comes, perhaps as we might expect, from barrister Barnett:
Why does Thomas Barnett want to overturn a new law that would prevent him, as a lifelong South Dakota activist newly turned Floridian retiree, from contributing to ballot question committees in South Dakota? “Very simply, I care,” says Barnett. He cares about South Dakota. He cares about good government back home (and you ex-pats know that South Dakota ex-pats always think of South Dakota as home, to a degree that other states’ ex-pats seem not to).
Caring by itself does not answer constitutional questions, but Barnett’s caring explains why South Dakota’s effort to bunkerize and Balkanize itself from the rest of the world doesn’t make sense. What happens in South Dakota matters to many more people than we few, we happy few, who live here. Thomas Barnett wants his home state to operate well, to respect people’s rights, and to remain a good and constitutional place to live for his family and friends.
We may get a sense of how much Judge Charles Kornmann cares about Thomas Barnett’s caring tomorrow morning, 10:30, in federal court here in Aberdeen.