Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Free speech group sues state ahead of November election (In the News)

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Free speech group sues state ahead of November election

By Jonathan Ellis

A national group that opposes restrictions on political speech is asking a federal judge to declare a South Dakota campaign finance law unconstitutional.

The Institute for Free Speech contends that South Dakota’s law regulating independent communication [“concerning” a ballot measure] is vague, broad and a violation of the group’s First Amendment rights.

The group says it wants to distribute literature on two upcoming ballot issues: Amendment W, which would impose more campaign finance requirements and lower contribution limits for candidates and political parties, and Initiated Measure 24, which seeks to ban out-of-state donations to committees sponsoring statewide ballot issues.

“South Dakota laws,” the group’s petition says, “pose a trap for the unwary.” …

In its complaint, the group says it wants to distribute “educational publications” about the two ballot measures but can’t because of the vagueness of South Dakota law.

“IFS intends to publish an analysis off two South Dakota ballot measures – proposed Constitutional Amendment W and Initiative 24 – with an emphasis on the ways in which those measures will impact citizens’ First Amendment rights. IFS’s publication will not urge passage or defeat of either measure.”

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