Tag Archives: aclu

Plain Talk: Jussie Smollett and Privilege, Plus North Dakota’s New Law Holding Anti-Pipeline Zealots Accountable

Plain Talk: Jussie Smollett and Privilege, Plus North Dakota’s New Law Holding Anti-Pipeline Zealots Accountable

On today’s Plain Talk, Jussie Smollett got away with something in Chicago. What does that mean for our notions about privilege in America? Also, state Senator Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg) talks about her bill, now sitting on Governor Doug Burgum’s desk, which aims to hold political zealots who vandalize or impede critical infrastructure like pipelines accountable.

Protest organizer Kristen Kelsch hold a sign and chants across the street from the State Capitol in Bismarck during a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. Bismarck Tribune photo

Holding Political Extremists Accountable for Violence and Vandalism Is Not an Effort to “Chill Speech”

The ACLU opposes SB2044, a bill which clarifies law around tampering with critical infrastructure like power plants or pipelines and ups the penalties for doing so, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. According to the organization the bill is an assault on protected speech. They said, on the occasion of

Supporters of Measure 1 during the 2018 campaign season. Bismarck Tribune file photo

Free Speech Groups, Including the ACLU, Oppose Legislative Efforts to Implement Measure 1

Ever since voters approved Measure 1 on the ballot last year there’s been a steady drumbeat of criticism aimed at state lawmakers who are now tasked with implementing it. Many of the lawmakers are reluctant, seeing in Measure 1 some pretty dire implications for speech and other political freedoms. Measure 1’s supporters (and even some,

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

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

“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

Valve Turner Michael Foster

ACLU Calls North Dakota Bill Targeting Meddling With “Critical Infrastructure” Unconstitutional

Back in 2016, during the heights of the #NoDAPL protests against the Dakota Access Pipelines, a group of left wing activists calling themselves “valve turners” broke into pipeline facilities and, well, turned some valves. One of the valves turned was in North Dakota, along TransCanda’s Keystone line. This was a spectacularly stupid thing to do.

Measure 1 Backers Send Deeply Ironic Letter to Lawmakers Insisting They Begin Work on an Ethics Committee

The North Dakotans for Public Integrity, an ostensibly local front group for left wing interests funded by big donations from Hollywood activists, was successful in getting Measure 1 approved on the statewide ballot last month. That despite the ACLU, among other groups, objecting to the onerous restrictions on political speech the measure represents. Now, with

Ethics Measure panelists were, from left, Susan Wefald, founder of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, Dina Butcher, president of North Dakota for Public Integrity, Geoff Simon, executive director of Western Dakota Energy Association and Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, chairman of the Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

Supposed “Anti-Corruption” Amendment Supporters Don’t Get to Ignore the Text of Their Own Measure

North Dakota’s Measure 1, a constitutional amendment put on the ballot by professional signature collectors paid by Hollywood celebrity activists, is anti-free speech. Don’t take my word for it. That’s the opinion of the ACLU of North Dakota which opposes the measure because it, as they said in a press release last month, “Our First

Print Column: Don’t Take My Word for It, ACLU Says Measure 1 Is an Affront to Free Speech

MINOT, N.D.—Last month I wrote in this column that Measure 1, the so-called “anti-corruption” amendment put on the November ballot thanks to professional petitioners paid mostly by a group of Hollywood celebrities, was an affront to the First Amendment. The left-wing supporters of the measure scoffed when I made that argument. I saw feedback to

Podcast: ACLU Says They’ll Consider Litigation Against Measure 1 if It Passes, Christine Blasey Ford Testifies

Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU in North Dakota, joined me today to talk about her group’s opposition to Measure 1. That’s the “ethics” or “anti-corruption” measure, but the ACLU sees serious problems if it passes from a 1st amendment perspective. Smith tells me that they haven’t made a decision yet, but if Measure

Measure 1 supporters, who refer to their initiative as an "anti-corruption" or "ethics" measure, file documents with Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

ACLU Opposes North Dakota “Ethics” Measure Saying It Would Be an Unconstitutional Restriction on Free Speech

Last month I wrote in a print column that Measure 1 – which supporters refer to as the “ethics” or “anti-corruption” measure – is an affront to the 1st amendment. Here’s an excerpt: I would encourage you readers to go to the secretary of state website and read the text of the measure for yourself.

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