Republicans Hit With legal Action To Stop Student Voter Suppression Bill

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Voter suppression laws have flooded the states from shore to no-longer shining shore. Immediately after Trump lost, the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation sent the Republican-controlled statehouses a whole host of written voter suppression legislation. Their laws are far-reaching and far from failures.

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) put his name and considerable power behind a new lawsuit that was filed on behalf of the Montana Democratic Party, Montanans for Tester, and a Montana voter. It challenged a provision for voter suppression law Senate Bill 319.

This bill banned voter registration and education activities on public college campus buildings such as “dorms, dining halls, and athletic facilities.” The Montana Democratic Party v. Jacobsen lawsuit dealt with students without question.

It argued that by isolating college locations but not other public structures, the state law was meant to “Limit the organizing efforts and political speech” and more, according to The Democracy Docket:

‘[They] limit the organizing efforts and political speech of Montana’s college students in violation of the First, 14th, and 26th Amendments.’

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The Executive Director of Heritage Action Jessica Anderson commented on the legislation written for state lawmakers by the Heritage Foundation. She noted that her organization wanted to give the impression of a “from-the-bottom-up type of vibe:”

‘In some cases, we actually draft them for them, according to The Associated Press. Or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation, so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.’

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The Democracy Docket argued that college students “organizing ban” forbade them from organizing:

‘The Student Organizing Ban forbids students from engaging in constitutionally protected activities and core political speech in the place they call home.’

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The Senate Bill 319 (SB 319) continued:

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To read more of this lawsuit, go to the Montana Legislative records.


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