A federal judge has ordered the state of North Dakota to pay $18,000 in attorneys’ fees in a dispute over the state’s former ban on Election Day campaigning.
The money will go to attorneys who represented former North Dakota Republican Party chairman Gary Emineth.
Emineth says he won’t get any of the money himself. He says the case helped get rid of a state law that violated North Dakotans’ free-speech rights.
Last October, Emineth filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a North Dakota law that said it was illegal to do any campaigning on Election Day.
U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland blocked the law from being enforced. Earlier this year the Legislature repealed the ban. It's been replaced with a new law that only bans campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place while voting is going on.
Emineth sued Secretary of State Al Jaeger (JAY’-gur), Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEN’-jum) and Burleigh County State’s Attorney Richard Riha (REE’-uh). Emineth was represented by the Center for Competitive Politics in Washington.
The center has now agreed to dismiss the case. As part of the settlement, the state of North Dakota is paying the center $18,000 to cover legal expenses.
(Note: This story was written by Dale Wetzel, who is a business partner of Gary Emineth in the media venture Bakken Beacon Media LLC. Court documents have been attached for independent verification)