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On Constitutional Law, Heidelberger 1, Mickelson 0

I won, says Judge Kornmann!

This afternoon, just six days after hearing my excellent lawyer Jim Leach argue in federal court that banning out-of-state contributions to ballot question committees is unconstitutional, Judge Charles Kornmann said yup, the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause still rule in South Dakota, no matter how much Mark Mickelson may want to throw them out in his cynical campaign to eliminate real grassroots initiative and referendum.

Here is Judge Kornmann’s ruling:

I’ll have more commentary this evening, after I walk the dog, take daughter to dance, and coordinate a statewide petition drive, which just got significantly easier now that I don’t have to worry about Jason Ravnsborg prosecuting me for taking money from someone who looks like a resident of South Dakota on paper but who Ravnsborg could prove was visiting friends in Pipestone when she donated to my ballot question committee via ActBlue and thus, under the term resident that IM 24 left woefully undefined, could not legally donate to any South Dakota ballot question committee.

IM 24 is dead; grassroots ballot question campaigns are thus a little more alive tonight. Yahoo!


  1. Old Spec.5 2019-05-09 17:40

    Very good job young man. Thank you

  2. Roger Cornelius 2019-05-09 18:15

    Good job Cory and thanks.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2019-05-09 18:17

    Forgot to mention that you are getting well deserved accolades on Dakota War College.

  4. Porter Lansing 2019-05-09 18:19

    Porter was wrong. Nothing new. 🤓

  5. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-05-09 18:44

    Yep, Phat Phough at War College is saying, “I’ve ALWAYS been in favor of freedom of speech,” despite much evidence to the contrary.

    This was a necessary victory, but all it is is a bright dry spot on a long, dark, wet SoDak gumbo road, seeded with spikes, snakes, scorpions and Stace Nelsons.

  6. Terry Camp 2019-05-09 18:49

    This question was really a no brainer from the beginning. We learned from Citizens United the value of money and free speech which is why the corrupt and entrenched political class is so opposed and wants it overturned. What many lose sight of is how great this is for us little guys who can now fight the greedy corporations by forming our own PACs that conform to state and federal tax laws and gain funding for our causes.

  7. South DaCola 2019-05-09 18:56

    Congrats! This was a no-brainer.

  8. grudznick 2019-05-09 20:52

    BOO! BOO! HISS! Keep the dark, out-of-state money away! Protest by peacefully sitting in around the clipboarders! Boost, boost the peacefulness of the protests. BOO! Kornmann is a libbie!

  9. grudznick 2019-05-09 20:53

    Seriously, the worst part of this is that Mr. H will be so full of himself his lithe body won’t be able to support his swollen head, when in reality it was Mr. Jackley who carried all the water here.

  10. Robin Friday 2019-05-09 21:04

    Congratulations, Cory. A battle of principles for me but I’m basically a First Amendment person. That doesn’t make me like dark money any better. Oh, the dilemma! Well done.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-09 21:37

    Grudz, if you don’t like out-of-state money, don’t take any, and don’t vote for anything backed by out-of-state money.

    Also, tell your newspaper and broadcast friends to stop doing business with out-of-state buyers.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-09 21:39

    I don’t like dark money, either, Robin. I don’t have any dark money; when I file my statutorily required campaign finance reports, you’ll see where all of my money came from and decide whether the sources of that money at all impugn the merits of the policies I seek to enact.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-09 21:40

    As for who carried the water, well, does the judge make any determination along those lines when he awards attorneys’ fees? Whoever carried the water, Grudz, you’ll get to pay for the buckets, thanks to Mark Mickelson’s folly.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-09 21:41

    And thank you for the congratulations. I’m always happy to lead a fight for First Amendment rights.

  15. grudznick 2019-05-09 21:57


  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-09 22:03

    [Heck, Grudz has discovered emojis. Something feels wrong with the world.]

    [I don’t even like it when my e-mail replaces good old colon-hyphen-parenthesis with an upright yellow smiley face. :-) ]

  17. Dennis Olson 2019-05-09 22:16

    Cory, You are making a difference!

  18. Remington Jones 2019-05-09 22:25

    I asked Mickelson about this very possibility when he was circulating his petitions and he poo poo’d my concerns. If a rube like me knew this would happen, how did the people behind this measure not see this coming?

    Oh, and if he really wants too keep out of state influencers out of our government, maybe he should get his republican colleagues to stop being tools for ALEC and other right wing groups to push their agendas directly through the legislature.

  19. Debbo 2019-05-10 00:37

    Congratulations Cory. Well done.

    Now we need to get Citizens United (what a dishonest name) overturned or pass an amendment that says $ is not speech. While we’re amending, let’s include in it public financing only for elections, no “gifts” of any kind to law makers, 12 year terms for SCOTUS, ERA, all districts drawn by algorithm, paper trail required for all voting machines and maybe a few other odds and ends……… You know, so we can become a democracy again.

  20. mike from iowa 2019-05-10 07:58

    Grudzilla’s selfie is spot on.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-11 15:55

    Hey, Remington! When Mickelson poo-pooed your concern, did he offer any legal or Constitutional argument to back his poo?

Comments are closed.