Eighth Circuit: S. Dakota’s 1-Year Filing Deadlines for Ballot Initiatives Violate First Amendment | Law.com

The Eighth Circuit has affirmed the grant of a permanent injunction against the enforcement of South Dakota’s one-year filing deadlines for submitting petitions to initiate state statutes and to amend the state’s constitution, holding that both statutory deadlines violate the First Amendment. But the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court’s creation of a new, six-month filing deadline and remanded with instructions to modify the injunction accordingly.

The case, SD Voice v. Noem, Nos. 21-3195, 21-3197, ___ F. 4th ___, 2023 WL 2055397 (8th Cir. Feb. 17, 2023), involves South Dakota’s regulation of citizens’ power to propose changes to state statutes and the state Constitution—specifically, the statutory requirements that signatures in support of a proposed change are only valid if collected during a one-year circulation period that starts two years before, and ends one year before, a general election. See S.D. Codified Laws Sections 2-1-1.1, 2-1-1.2.

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