ETHICS COMMISSION RESTRICTIONS ON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

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December 30, 2021


Request:  Is Article XIV Section 2(5) of the North Dakota State Constitution an unconstitutional restriction of the First Amendment freedom of association, because of its restriction on campaign contributions?

Conclusion: Section 2(5) requires recusal of a public official in a quasi-judicial role where there is an appearance of bias to a reasonable person in order to provide a fair tribunal for adjudication of the issue. It does not restrict a party’s political speech. Because ND Const. art XIV, Section 2(5) requires recusal and does not limit political speech, it is not manifestly contrary to the federal constitution and therefore, likely to be upheld by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Opinion 2021-L-04

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