Tracker Pixel for Entry

​The consequences of SB 2044

Letters to the Editor | March 20th, 2019

To the editor:

Senate Bill 2044 was introduced in the North Dakota Senate in January, sponsored by Senator Janne Myrdal (R-10), from Edinburg, outlining criminal punishments regarding “interfering”, “impeding”, or “inhibiting” (to name just a few of the many descriptive words) critical infrastructure.

At face value this bill seems reasonable and sound. It seems the intention of this bill is to keep the people of North Dakota safe and their services protected. Unfortunately, there are grave implications that must be considered

Similar bills have been introduced in several other states, and are essentially carbon copies of language from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobby group that works to promote the establishment, preservation, and motion forward of corporate interests within state legislation.

The consequences of SB 2044 could blindside a person or organization involved in peaceful protest. The vague quality of the descriptive words in the document, namely “impede”, “inhibit”, or “interfere” with critical infrastructure could be left open to legal interpretation and manipulation. Worse yet, an organization involved in providing support or services to an individual who decides, independently of that organization, to interfere with critical infrastructure, could be held liable and face exorbitant fines with potentially ruinous consequences.

The bill states: “If an organization is found to be a conspirator with an individual found to have violated subsection 1, the court shall assess on the conspiring organization a fine ten times the amount of the fine authorized by subsection.”

There are already laws in place to penalize damage or destruction to critical infrastructure, I believe this bill is a direct attempt to deter and discourage the exercising of the constitutional right of the people of the United States to exercise free speech and peaceful protest.

Signed,

Linda Weiss

Recently in:

By Olivia Slyteroslyter.g@cord.eduPhotos by Sabrina HornungFor months, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been asking the heavy question “Should the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade be overturned?” On May 2nd,…

Selected Summer EventsJuneJune 21 – Primitive Man 10 Year Anniversary Tour – The Aquarium, Fargo, NDJune 22-27 – Don’t Hug Me Musical – Stage West - POW/MIA Plaza, West Fargo, NDJune 22 – Ryan Necci and The Buffalo…

Monday, July 4, all dayUlland Park2401 47th Avenue Southhttps://www.gfsertoma.org/4th-of-july-celebrationGrand Forks hosts the biggest Independence Day bash in the region–and it’s an all-day affair. Come early for yard games, a…

By John Strand and Thomas Bixbyjas@hpr1.comOur Opinion: Are Many of Us ‘Detached From Reality?’Why is it that many Americans believe the falsehood that Joe Biden’s election to the Presidency was a fraud, that it was rigged?In…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com Christianity Has Fallen Off the CrossCorky and I have classified ourselves as faithful Christians for nearly ninety years, but we both have reached the point where a solid majority of…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comPhotos by Rick GionSome people say that a pizza tastes better if you cut it in squares. And, the main event in this food battle features Fargo-Moorhead’s favorite thin-crust squared circles.Judging a…

By Martin Beckman and Jordan TepleyHigh Plains Reader: Just to fill in the people that are unfamiliar. Who are y'all and could you tell us a little about Suffering Hour?Kenn Nardi: Suffering Hour is a black/death metal band based…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comWhile some Josephine Decker fans have decided to turn up their noses at her adaptation of Jandy Nelson’s 2010 YA novel “The Sky Is Everywhere,” I was delighted by the filmmaker’s…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comArtwork: Woodcut by Danielle Gravon titled "Allegory of Fargo Winter I"On June 18, the Rourke will be holding their 62nd annual Midwestern Preview, the date celebrating the opening anniversary of…

By Brittney Goodman  goodmanbritg@gmail.comJuneJune 16 – 17 - Footloose presented by Thompson Theater – Empire Arts Center –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comLehr Mayor and Council Members Donate City Salaries To Save Legion HallEvery rural community has at least one social space that holds multiple generations of memories and has remained a social…

By Madeline Lukemadelineluke@ymail.comSonja Kaye, of CLEAN in Fargo gave the third of four talks on climate change issues specific to North Dakota for the “What in the World Series,” in Valley City on April 5. While the topic…