Tag Archives: initiated measures

Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state capitol prior to petitions, shown in front of podium, being delivered to the Secretary of State's office. In back from left are Marsha Lembke, Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert, Kelly Leben of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, Lacee Anderson, Kathleen Wrigley and Nicole Peske. TOM STROMME/Bismarck Tribune

Marsy’s Law May Have Put North Dakota in Violation of the 8th Amendment

Marsy’s Law May Have Put North Dakota in Violation of the 8th Amendment

Marsy’s Law is yet another of the legal headaches created by North Dakota’s deeply flawed initiated measure process. Approved by voters after a slick marketing campaign bankrolled by a California billionaire (who is currently facing drug trafficking charges), Marsy’s Law created in North Dakota’s constitution what supporters call “victim’s rights” and more honest observers describe

Plain Talk Podcast: Sealing Criminal Records, Blue Laws, Measure 1, and Why Initiated Measures Make for Bad Policy

Are initiated measures a good way to make public policy? I don’t think so, and I talk about it in this episode of the Plain Talk podcast. Measure 1 – a constitutional amendment approved by voters in the 2018 election – is one reason why many, like me, feel that way. Also Rep. Shannon Roers

Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Bill Would Require Double Legislative Approval of Constitutional Amendments Initiated by Petitions

There is a lot of concern among some political observers – including this one – that the initiated measure process is in desperate need of reform. Currently a committee of citizens can submit signatures to amend statute, and even the state constitution, without the involvement of the elected Legislature at all. Supposedly this is a

Print Column: Initiated Measures Have Become the Domain of Rich Donors and Political Professionals

MINOT, N.D. — There are some who defend initiated ballot measures, the method through which distracted voters decide complicated policy questions, as some sort of an egalitarian ideal. They want us to believe that legislating at the ballot box is the purest form of the people doing the people’s business. Something on a higher moral

Print Column: Deep Pocketed Interests Routinely Buy Their Way Onto North Dakota’s Ballot

Criticize North Dakota’s initiated measure laws, the process whereby citizens can collect signatures and enact policy directly through a vote, and you’ll be targeted for scorn and personal attacks. There are many in North Dakota and beyond who believe that initiated measures are a purer form of democracy than what we get from the Legislature

In this file photo, Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state Capitol prior to petitions being delivered to the Secretary of State's office. In back from left are Marsha Lembke, Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert, Kelly Leben of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, Lacee Anderson, Kathleen Wrigley and Nicole Peske. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota’s Initiated Measure Reformers Should Look to Montana

I’m not exactly a fan of legislating at the ballot box, or direct democracy generally. But in particular, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to enact complicated public policy merely through a vote of the people. Does anyone really believe that harried voters, already asked to be informed on national and state and local

Brandon Muhs, front, of Fargo, North Dakota, pushes a dolly cart with boxes containing petition signatures into the Secretary of State's office on 7-11-2016 for a medical marijuana initiative for consideration on the November ballot. Initiative committee chairman Rilie Ray Morgan, second from right, and his wife, Rita, far right, also of Fargo, were among a group of supporters gathering at the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota.

It’s Not Constitutional to Ban Out of State Money for Initiated Measures

A committee convened by the Legislature to review the initiated measure process met this week, and it seems they’re taking a long and hard look at the amount of money from outside the state which has funded some recent measures. The obvious example is the Marsy’s Law ballot measure, a horrible idea ramrodded through the

Brandon Muhs, front, of Fargo, North Dakota, pushes a dolly cart with boxes containing petition signatures into the Secretary of State's office on 7-11-2016 for a medical marijuana initiative for consideration on the November ballot. Initiative committee chairman Rilie Ray Morgan, second from right, and his wife, Rita, far right, also of Fargo, were among a group of supporters gathering at the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Initiated Measures Need Checks and Balances Just Like Every Other Type of Policymaking

Any American who has attended a civics class is familiar with the term “checks and balances.” It’s a term used to describe the effort to achieve moderate and dependable laws through the separation of government power. Lawmakers write the laws, but the executive branch can veto them. Lawmakers can override vetoes, but the judicial branch

Brandon Muhs, front, of Fargo, North Dakota, pushes a dolly cart with boxes containing petition signatures into the Secretary of State's office on Monday, July 11, 2016, for a medical marijuana initiative for consideration on the November ballot. Initiative committee chairman Rilie Ray Morgan, second from right, and his wife, Rita, far right, also of Fargo, were among a group of supporters gathering at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D.. Photo by Mike McCleary/Bismarck Tribune

The Initiated Measure Process Has Not Served North Dakota Well

Today the Bismarck Tribune editorializes against a push by lawmakers a bill creating a commission tasked with reviewing our state’s initiated measure process (it passed in the state Senate this week), “The initiated measure process has served North Dakota well and the Legislature should tread lightly when considering changing it,” the paper writes. Only, that’s not

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