Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Upholding Constitution with repeal of IM 22 (In the News)

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Upholding Constitution with repeal of IM 22

By Scott Blackburn and Ron Williamson

In the past year, the Center for Competitive Politics has completed law suits in Colorado and Utah against similar unconstitutional laws. In both cases, our clients won. Judges in both states ruled that overly broad rules on small non-political speakers and vague laws are unconstitutional. Courts are not fond of violations of the Constitution – both states have pay out six figure fees for enacting laws that restricted the First Amendment.

Some lawmakers have responded to this the wrong way. They’ve proposed capping donations for future ballot initiatives. But even if we don’t like what supporters of an initiative are saying, the First Amendment stops us from restricting their ability to say it. We can’t fight unconstitutional laws with more unconstitutional laws.

Other legislators are acting responsibly. They are repealing IM 22 before any damage can be done. This is triply valuable to the citizens of South Dakota. $5 Million in revenue that would have gone to politicians can now be put to better use. The Attorney General need not waste time defending an unconstitutional bill that could’ve cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most importantly, South Dakotans will once again be free to express opinions without retaliation from state bureaucrats.