Tag Archives: marsy’s law

Marsy's Law movement founder Henry Nicholas, seen here in a mugshot with Ashley Fargo. Both were arrested in Las Vegas on drug charges. Photo via the Las Vegas Police

Billionaire Who Funded Marsy’s Law Campaign Busted for Drug Trafficking in Las Vegas

Billionaire Who Funded Marsy’s Law Campaign Busted for Drug Trafficking in Las Vegas

The Marsy’s Law campaign here in North Dakota was the pet project of California billionaire Henry Nicholas who has spent millions pushing ballot measures here in North Dakota and elsewhere. In fact, in our state, Nicholas was pretty much the only contributor to the measure campaign, paying for signature collectors and a slick media campaign

Kathleen Wrigley and other Marsy's Law supporters speak about their constitutional amendment in 2016.

North Dakota Supreme Court Begins Cleaning up the Marsy’s Law Mess

Marsy’s Law is terrible public policy. “[A] hobby farm for an eccentric California billionaire,” as former state Supreme Court Justice Sandstrom told me during the 2016 election cycle when voters cast their ballots overwhelmingly for the constitutional amendment. Unfortunately, I think North Dakota voters were bamboozled by slick campaign (Kelsey Grammer!) funded exclusively from California by

Kathleen Wrigley, chairwoman of the Marsy's Law for North Dakota campaign in 2016, speaks about the initiated measure.

Lacee Anderson: Port Throws Marsy’s Law Under the Bus

Rob Port’s latest attempt to throw Marsy’s Law under the bus as a “tragic mistake” is ill-advised and uninformed. Port references a recent incident involving a police officer who invoked his Marsy’s Law rights after shooting a member of the public who allegedly attacked him. Among the many erroneous assumptions Port has made in his

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

A handful of people who said they were backing the blue stood in protest outside The Bismarck Tribune along Seventh Street in Bismarck on Monday afternoon. TOM STROMME, Bismarck Tribune

The Bismarck Tribune Was Right to Publish the Name of Officer Who Invoked Marsy’s Law

Last week I posted about an incident from Bismarck where an officer involved in shooting a member of the public who was allegedly attacking him invoked Marsy’s Law to hide his identity from the public. Marsy’s Law is the supposed “victims rights” amendment to the state constitution passed by voters last year. Among the bad

Kathleen Wrigley, chair of the Marsy's Law for North Dakota ballot measure, announces Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Fargo the measure for the November 2016 ballot with the sooty of area victims' rights advocates. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

North Dakota Voters Made a Tragic Mistake When They Approved Marsy’s Law

Last year, after an intense campaign funded exclusively by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, North Dakota voters approved a sprawling amendment to the state constitution called Marsy’s Law. It was billed as a “victim’s rights” bill, but critics (me among them) pointed out that the feel-good legislation would be hugely problematic in practice. “The North Dakota

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

James Patrick Whalen, right, leaves the Grand Forks County Courthouse with his attorney, Robert Hoy, after pleading guilty to sexual assault and corruption of a minor. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

We Can’t Have Justice if We Don’t Scrutinize Accusers

Yesterday I wrote a post responding to outrage over comments made by Robert Hoy, defense attorney for James Patrick Whalen, a Grand Forks teacher who recently pleaded guilty to charges related to a sexual relationship he had with a 16 year old female student. Many in the media were outraged that Hoy brought up 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 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

Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state capitol. TOM STROMME/Tribune

It’s Time to Take Marsy’s Law to Court

Last year the voters approved Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment which will supposedly make our legal system more just by giving victims and their families rights. Nearly every facet of our state’s legal community – from cops to prosecutors to defense attorneys to judges – opposed the ballot measure arguing that it could create real headaches for

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