Dakotans for Health sues Minnehaha County officials

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 1:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Healthcare advocacy group Dakotans for Health has sued Minnehaha County officials to stop the county from enforcing a new policy that restricts political activity at the county administration building and courthouse to two designated zones.

The group argues that prohibiting petition circulation in and on areas and sidewalks surrounding the Minnehaha County Courthouse and Minnehaha County Administration Building violates its First Amendment rights.

The organization is seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Dakotans for Health uses petition circulation to place initiated measures on the ballot and political action to pass those measures.

“South Dakota has a longstanding tradition of enacting laws and changes to the state constitution using the citizen initiative process,” said Rick Weiland, co-founder of Dakotans for Health. “People have been collecting signatures for generations, and these new rules make that a lot more difficult. What they have done is unconstitutional and it is another attack on direct democracy.”

The group states that the Minnehaha County Courthouse and Minnehaha County Administration Building are the best locations in South Dakota to collect signatures.

For more information on Dakotans for Health, visit dakotans4health.com.