Statement on North Dakota H.B. 1521

The Legislative Assembly can't get around Measure 1's constitutional deficiencies

January 30, 2019   •  By IFS Staff   •  
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Alexandria, VA – The Institute for Free Speech released the following statement today on North Dakota H.B. 1521:

The House Ethics committee is currently considering legislation (H.B. 1521) to implement Measure 1 as approved by voters. However, Measure 1 contains severe constitutional flaws. The measure imposes vague rules on individuals and groups that wish to speak about public matters and state government. Many of these rules are likely unconstitutional.

“H.B. 1521 does not and cannot fully resolve Measure 1’s constitutional problems. While the Legislative Assembly has an obligation to implement the measure, it cannot ignore our First Amendment rights to speak and publish. Ultimately, the courts as well as the legislature will likely play a role in determining how Measure 1 is adapted into law,” said Institute for Free Speech Legal Director Allen Dickerson.

The Institute for Free Speech previously released an analysis of Measure 1’s threats to free political speech. That analysis is available here.

About the Institute for Free Speech

The Institute for Free Speech is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government. Originally known as the Center for Competitive Politics, it was founded in 2005 by Bradley A. Smith, a former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. The Institute is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.

IFS Staff

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