Ballotpedia: North Dakota Measure 1, Ethics Commission, Foreign Political Contribution Ban, and Conflicts of Interest Initiative (2018) (In the News)

Ballotpedia: North Dakota Measure 1, Ethics Commission, Foreign Political Contribution Ban, and Conflicts of Interest Initiative (2018)

The Institute for Free Speech (IFS), formerly known as the Center for Competitive Politics, published a report authored by Senior Fellow Eric Wang in August 2018 analyzing Measure 1…

“- The initiative proposes reporting requirements for any speech, communication, or publication that may “influence any …election” or “state government action.” Such a law appears to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad…

– The initiative’s reporting requirements would also appear to require filings by media organizations for any news reporting or opinions that could “influence any …election” or “state government action.” …

– Regulated speakers may be subject to extensive and intrusive requirements to report their funding sources akin to tracing the source of a river to the first drop of water. It is unclear how for-profit corporations would comply with these requirements and whether customers, investors, or lenders would need to be reported. Likewise, it is unclear whether media corporations would also have to report their subscribers and advertisers…

– By possibly encompassing such a broad and undefined universe of speech and funding sources, the initiative’s reporting requirements are unlikely to satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court’s “exacting scrutiny” standard for compulsory disclosure laws;

– The initiative would create a new North Dakota Ethics Commission, which would go into existence without any implementing legislation and without any limits on its powers or standards governing its conduct of investigations…

– The initiative would create a private right of action for any North Dakota taxpayer to enforce the constitutional amendment’s reporting provision. A federal court recently ruled that a similar system in Colorado was unconstitutional.”

The full report can be read here.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.