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21-2428 Dakotans for Health v. Kristi Noem

[PUBLISHED] [Grasz, Author, with Stras and Kobes, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Election law. In a suit challenging the provisions in Senate Bill 180 governing paid petition circulators in South Dakota and specifying penalties for failure to comply with those requirements, the district court did not err in preliminarily enjoining South Dakota officials from enforcing the requirements; plaintiffs had standing to bring the action as the record at this point in the proceedings showed that it was faced with a concrete, particularized, and actual injury from Senate Bill 180 because the act directly impacted plaintiff's ability to reach its audience and gather sufficient signatures to place initiatives on the ballot; the statute fails under the exacting scrutiny standard because the state has not shown that paid petition circulators posed a greater risk of fraud than volunteer circulators; further the process for making the information paid circulators must provide public is likely to subject them to harassment and is intrusive and burdensome; finally, the statute is not narrowly tailored to advance the state's interest in election integrity; as a result, plaintiff showed they were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the statute is facially invalid as overbroad and violative of the First Amendment; the other preliminary injunction factors favor the issuance of injunctive relief; court would not second guess the scope of the district court's injunction, and the district court can determine in further proceedings whether some portions of Senate Bill 180 can survive scrutiny and whether they are severable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Case Number: 
District Court: 
U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota - Southern
Judge L. Steven Grasz