IM22 Receives Preliminary Injunction

Dec 8, 2016

Credit Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett has issued a preliminary injunction against Initiated Measure 22.

That means requirements of the Anti-Corruption Act are placed on hold. Those include establishing an ethics commission, creating a publicly funded campaign finance system and revising state campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Proponents of Initiated Measure 22 say they are surprised at the circuit court judge’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction against measure.

Don Frankenfeld is with South Dakotans for Integrity. That group backs IM 22.

Frankenfeld says the group is evaluating their next steps.

“It’s not final or definitive," Frankenfeld says. "But it is a disappointment because this is a decision that could have been made—we were hopeful it would have been made—in our favor. Our favor means no injunction. Instead the injunction was created, so, it’s at least created a modest disappointment to us and just tells us that we have more work to do.”

A group of lawmakers, lobbyists and special interest groups are challenging the constitutionality of the measure. Senator Blake Curd is leading the lawsuit against IM 22. He says he's pleased with Judge Barnett’s decision to put a preliminary injunction on the measure.

He says the measure created a constitutional crisis in South Dakota. He says litigation was the right step to take before lawmakers reach Pierre.

“I would say the legislature would get the chance to contemplate IM 22 when the session gavels in on the second Tuesday in January,” Curd says. “And we will see at that point if there is political will to address it head on and make some changes. Depending on what happens there may be a point where the suit is no longer necessary. I think we’ve got time to give it thoughtful consideration and consider what the best route forward might be.”

Opponents of the measure include Governor Dennis Daugaard. He says voters were hoodwinked by scam artists who grossly misrepresented what the measure would do.

Attorney General Marty Jackley is defending the measure voters approved last month.