free speech

A personalized license plate requested and eventually approved for South Dakota resident Lynn Hart. (Courtesy of Lynn Hart)

ACLU sues state over ‘REZWEED’ vanity license plate

BY: - November 6, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota wants a judge to stop the state from saying no to vanity license plates over “poor taste.” The nonprofit filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in South Dakota on behalf of a client named Lynn Hart, who’d asked for and been denied a vanity plate that […]

(Courtesy of State of South Dakota)

ACLU is ‘RZNHELL’ with state over specialized plate denials

BY: - August 29, 2023

It’s OK to be a “HELLCAT,” but not a “HELLBOY.” Don’t tell anybody to “HLDMYBR,” but it’s fine to go on a “BEERRUN.” And don’t say “IH8U,” but “YUH8ME” is acceptable. Those are some of the inconsistencies in state government’s evaluation of specialized vehicle license plate requests, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of […]

An equal justice statue sits outside the doors of the Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Minnehaha County’s new petition rules already blocked by judge

BY: and - May 12, 2023

The free speech zones designated for political petitioning on Minnehaha County property survived nine days before being halted by a federal judge. A temporary restraining order inked late Thursday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange blocked the county’s rules for petitioners the day after a nonprofit group filed a lawsuit challenging their constitutionality. Dakotans […]

The South Dakota State Capitol, pictured on Nov. 2, 2022. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Bill to repeal annual intellectual diversity report by SD colleges passes committee

BY: - January 24, 2023

A bill that would remove a requirement for the South Dakota Board of Regents to produce an annual intellectual diversity report passed the Senate Education Committee 5-2 on Tuesday. Senate Bill 45, introduced by Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, would backtrack a requirement set by the 2019 intellectual diversity law. The 2019 bill also ordered public […]