Judge Kornmann rules that IM24 is unconstitutional

ABERDEEN, S.D. (South Dakota Broadcasters Association) – In his written decision, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kornmann agrees with plaintiff’s arguments that IM24 violated First Amendment rights writing, “The total ban on certain out of state contributions cannot withstand scrutiny unless the defendants can articulate a compelling reason for the ban. As a matter of law, whatever test is applied results in a finding that IM 24 is unconstitutional.”


Judge Kornmann’s written decision is 16 pages in length and concludes, “IM 24 is unconstitutional because it violates First Amendment right to engage in political speech and to associate with others to fund political speech. IM 24 is also unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause by interfering with the free flow of money between persons or entities from another state and ballot questions committees in South Dakota.”

Judge Kornmann ordered that plaintiff’s attorney fees and cost will be awarded, with those cast to be determined by the court at a later time.

Today’s ruling is a permanent injunction which stops the planned July 1 implementation of IM24. The State must now determine if it will appeal the decision to the U.S. Eighth circuit court of appeals.