Dakotans for Health sues Lawrence County officials for violating rights
DEADWOOD, S.D. (KOTA) - Dakotans for Health has sued Lawrence County officials, seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction to stop the county from enforcing onerous petition circulation prohibitions that violate their First Amendment rights.
Dakotans for Health engages in core First Amendment activities, including petition circulation to place initiated measures on the ballot and political action to pass those measures. The organization is currently circulating petitions seeking to restore Roe v. Wade rights and eliminate the state sales tax on groceries.
However, certain restrictions prohibit petition circulation in and around the Lawrence County Administrative Office and adjoining buildings, which they say is an “ideal” location to collect signatures.
Adam Weiland, Co-founder of Dakotans for Health, said, “South Dakotans have used citizen initiatives to enact reforms and overrule their politicians when they go too far. From the abortion referendum in 2006 to the 2014 increase in the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, medical marijuana, and last year Medicaid expansion. The Lawrence County petition policy restricting free speech is unconstitutional.”
Last week, a federal judge in Sioux Falls sided with Dakotans for Health in a similar case, concerning petition circulation rules in Minnehaha County.
The group recently filed a similar complaint in Minnehaha County and won a preliminary injunction.
For more information on Dakotans for Health and their ongoing initiatives, please visit www.dakotans4health.com.
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