Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Ordering Study Into Whether It’s “Necessary” or “Desirable” to Implement Ethics Ballot Measure

Speaker of the House Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

“Measure 1 is actually so poorly written that it would institute a host of new restrictions and regulations on political speech and advocacy that would violate the First Amendment rights of all citizens.”

That’s what the ACLU said about the “ethics” ballot measure last year, before voters approved it at the ballot box.

Those sort of concerns may be behind recently-introduced House Concurrent Resolution 3028 which orders a study of Measure 1 and whether it’s “necessary” or “desirable” for the Legislature to implement it.

The primary sponsor of the resolution is Speaker of the House Lawrence Klemin (R-Bismarck).

You can read it in full below.

“I’m wondering if they are not using this to delay implementation under the guise of a study so it can be struck down,” one long time legislative observer asked when we were discussing the resolution last night. It’s not an unwarranted speculation. Many observers, including this one, agree with the ACLU in its analysis of Measure 1 as a threat to speech rights.

There’s a lot of chest thumping about the allegedly infallible “will of the people” going around about Measure 1 right now (which I discussed on the podcast and in a blog post), but it makes sense to create some room for this amendment to our state constitution to be litigated.

We have three branches of government for a reason. Before lawmakers set about implement Measure 1 the courts ought to weigh in.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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