We win! We win! You, me, my ballot question committee, every citizen who wants to put a law to a vote, every citizen who likes signing petitions and voting directly on laws… pretty much every-gosh-darn-body in South Dakota but Kristi Noem, Jason Ravnsborg, and Steve Barnett wins!
Requiring ballot question petition circulators to pre-register with the state, submit their personal information to a state database, and wear a state-issued badge is unconstitutional. So ruled U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kornmann today in SD Voice v. Noem II. Here’s his ruling overturning 2019 House Bill 1094 in toto:
I’m going to walk the dog. Then I’ll spend the evening reading and preparing my analysis of this victory for People Power.
…but, quickly, here’s a phrase that leaps out about the discriminatory nature of the state’s effort via HB 1094 to place extra burdens on ballot initiative proponents while leaving opponents unfettered by registries and badges:
The content and effect of the Act makes this discrimination unmistakable. If you favor the status quo and oppose change, you are not regulated. If you favor change of one sort or another, you are extensively regulated [Judge Charles Kornmann, ruling, SD Voice v. Noem II, 2020.01.09, p. 4].