Cory Heidelberger

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has resolved a legal challenge to South Dakota's restrictions on initiated and referred measures.

The appeals court heard arguments in December in the case short-titled South Dakota Voice v. Kristi Noem.

The Eighth Circuit has found that the 2019 law at the center of the appeal has been replaced and is moot.

But the constitutionality of petition deadlines is headed back to South Dakota federal court for resolution.

Victoria Wicks has this report for SDPB.

Courtesy of Cory Heidelberger

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in a case titled SDVoice et al. v. Kristi L. Noem, et al. In January this year, a federal judge ruled that 2019 legal restrictions on the ballot initiative process were unconstitutional. The governor, attorney general, and secretary of state challenged that ruling, even though that 2019 law has been replaced. Victoria Wicks reports on this appeal for SDPB.

Ballot Initiative Law Declared Illegal; State Appeals

Dec 13, 2020

A legal challenge to a dead law goes before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

In 2019, the South Dakota legislature put restrictions on proponents of ballot initiatives.

In January 2020, a federal judge found the law to be unconstitutional.

The 2020 legislature replaced it with a new law, but the state still appealed the judge's ruling on the old one.

Victoria Wicks has more of this story for SDPB. Listen here:

Federal Judge Strikes Petition Circulator Registry Bill

Jan 10, 2020
Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

A federal judge is ruling that a new state law is invalid and violates the first amendment of the United States Constitution.

South Dakota lawmakers passed a bill in 2019 that requires petition circulators to register and Secretary of State create a directory of circulators.

In his ruling on Thursday, District Judge Charles Kornmann says HB 1094’s—the law in question—has a  primary purpose of severely regulating the process through which those who wish circulate a petition may do so.

A South Dakota blogger hoping to refer a state law that requires petition circulators submit information about themselves to the state…did not receive enough signatures.

Cory Heidelberger writes for Dakota Free Press. He had 90 days to gather almost 17,000 signature to refer the law to the voters.

Heidelberger says House Bill 1094—the law passed this last session—is unconstitutional. He points to case law out of Colorado about anonymity of circulators and violations of prior restraint.

In the Moment News: June 15-21

Jun 21, 2019

SDPB's David Scott reports on Representative Dusty Johnson's Feed Act. We go over the annual Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E Casey Foundation with Carole Cochrane. Talk about a picture that created havoc at this year's Girls State with Dakota Political Junkies Noel Hamiel and Jon Hunter. Cory Heidelberger explains his petitions aimed to protect the ballot question process. SDPB's Chynna Lockett reports on the opening of the Thunder Valley Community Center.


Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... June 20, 2019 Show 600 Hour 2

A political blogger and former candidate for the state legislature is seeking to refer South Dakota House Bill 1094 to voters. Cory Heidelberger of Aberdeen chairs SD Voice, an organization committed to protecting the ballot question process in South Dakota.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... May 2, 2019 Show 567 Hour 1

The world is full of people who carry a tiny printing press in their pocket - one that has a monster reach.

Kevin Woster writes about that observation by blogger Cory Heidelberger in his latest On the Other Hand blog entry. 

Amendment X - Jim Bolin & Cory Heidelberger

Oct 16, 2018
Adria Botella

In The Moment ... October 16. 2018 Show 442 Hour 2

Amendment X seeks to adjust how many votes it takes to change the Constitution itself.

State Senator Jim Bolin served on the bipartisan task force that recommended Amendment X. He joined us to urge voters to say YES to X.

Cory Heidelberger is a political blogger and a candidate for District 3 Senate. He joined us from the Tom and Danielle Aman studio at Northern State University to urge voters to say NO to X.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB


The House State Affairs committee is passing a bill that seeks to clear up any confusion surrounding ballot measure questions.

One critic of the bill says the change creates a system where a yes vote means no -- and vice versa -- for one particular ballot question.

Referred laws can be confusing.

In essence, the constitutional provision allows the citizens of South Dakota to put a recently passed state law on pause, and overturn the legislature and governor’s vote.

The 2016 Ballot Questions are more than ballot clutter; they are compelling social and political conversations that give voters a voice on a variety of issues.

SDPB's political reporter Lee Strubinger joins Dakota Midday to explain what your ballot will look like in November, highlighting various referred laws and Constitutional Amendments.

RL20 Puts Youth Minimum Wage To A Vote

Jul 26, 2016

South Dakota voters get the chance to vote on a minimum wage again in November. What is known as Referred Law Twenty seeks to reiterate whether or not the minimum wage established by voters two years ago is the ultimate will of the people.
In the 2015 session, legislators changed the law passed by voters in 2014.  Lawmakers approved a lower minimum wage for workers under the age of seventeen.