It is an absolute travesty that Measure 3 – also known as Marsy’s Law – passed tonight. As I write this the measure has over 62 percent of the vote.
The measure was a pet project of California billionaire Henry Nicholas who poured millions into buying the measure onto the ballot, and then supporting it with a slick advertising campaign that completely drowned out nearly the entirely of the North Dakota legal community which stood against it.
The North Dakota Victim’s Assistance Association, CAWS North Dakota, the North Dakota Women’s Network, the North Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the North Dakota State’s Attorneys’ Association, the ND Association for Justice, the First Nations Womens Alliance, and the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police all opposed the measure.
But those voices were drowned out by a river of money.
I don’t think most North Dakotans have any idea what was in this measure, really. They probably heard one of the many, many commercials the Marsy’s Law campaign carpet bombed the state with talking about how victims should get “equal rights.” A shallow and superficial slogan which ultimately does not reflect what this measure will accomplish, which is to diminish the odds of justice in North Dakota’s courts.
Victim’s don’t have more rights in North Dakota, thanks to Marsy’s Law. The accused now have fewer rights.
The people behind this measure should be ashamed of themselves.
Yeah, they won the vote tonight, but only because they had enough money to hoodwink voters and drown out the opposition.
If there is a silver lining in all this, perhaps it will convince North Dakota lawmakers that our initiated measure process needs reform, badly, protect out state from this sort of legislating at the ballot box.