Voters will Need to Prove Legislators Wrong by Rejecting Changes to Constitutional Process

The most blatantly arrogant attempt by lawmakers to place themselves above voters was given support from the ND House. SCR 4001 gives the Legislature a say in final approval of citizen-led constitutional measures. The 63-30 vote shows fifteen Republican Representatives joining the Democratic members in voting against this arrogant power grab. The rest believe they’re smarter than you.

A refresher on SCR 4001 as amended adds additional barriers to citizen-led Constitutional measures. The process approved by 31 Republican Senators and 63 Republican Representatives would give the Legislature the power to say whether or not they approve of the citizen’s vote. If the Legislature deems the public knowledgeable on their measure vote, they would allow it to become law. If lawmakers deem the citizens were too dumb and there must have been “confusion” at the ballot box, the Legislature can reject the measure. Under the amended 4001, the measure would then need to be voted on a second time by the citizens.

So what is next? Senator David Hogue of Minot is the prime sponsor. He is already pleading with the Senate to simply concur with the House changes and get it passed the Legislature. The House added the requirement that constitutional measures must be placed on the general election ballot. If – more likely when – the Senate concurs, this arrogant power grab will be placed before North Dakota voters to ultimately decide.

These legislators believe they’re smarter than you. They are not. Read that last sentence again. In fact, had they listened to voters at the ballot box over the years, perhaps some of the recent budgetary mess could have been avoided. Instead, they ignored you. Lawmakers are hoping you’ll agree that they are more intelligent than you. Prove them wrong. While you’re at it, send a message by sending someone else to Bismarck.

Tyler Axness