Minn. Stat. § 211B.06 subd. 1 (2008) criminalizes knowingly false statements made in the context of political campaigns, ballot initiatives and the like.
Now-retired U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum (D. Minn.) dismissed a constitutional challenge to the statute in February, 2010 on several bases. Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Smith, Beam, Benton), in an opinion by Judge Beam, rejected all aspects of Judge Rosenbaum’s analysis and remanded the case to the district court to make a determination as to whether the statute meets the very high constitutional standard of “strict scrutiny.”
This is a win for plaintiffs and their counsel, Mohrman & Kaardal, P.A. Whether it is a win for the rest of us remains to be seen.