One of the most shameful moments in the history of North Dakota’s State Capitol took place today. Rep. Luke Simons (R – District 36) was expelled from the state legislature on a vote of 69-25. The vote took place after about a four hour process that included failed attempts to amend the resolution to censure — instead of expulsion — and to hold an investigation into claims of sexual harassment.
As many of us expected, a 2/3 majority of Simons’ colleagues weren’t interested in Due Process. Instead, they voted in opposition to calls for things like an investigation and hearings. House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R – District 29) stated repeatedly that there was no obligation for Due Process. Let that sink in.
There’s an old saying, “When there’s blood in the water, all the sharks show up.” And today we saw a feeding frenzy.
Aside from the insatiable desire for expulsion being so evident to onlookers, there was also the unquestionable reality that the House completely ignored their own rules in dealing with the accusations against Luke Simons. This fact was acknowledged throughout the sham process we witnessed today. But supporters of giving Simons the boot didn’t seem to feel too bad about it.
What every North Dakotan should be asking themselves — especially the people of District 36 — is why there was so much opposition to an actual investigation? What were they so afraid of? Especially if truth was on their side.
Make no mistake about it, today’s action was a disservice to everyone involved. It was a black eye on the State of North Dakota— a national embarrassment.
Never forget— These are the very same people who pass laws and expect the rest of us to follow them. Yet, they didn’t just disregard their own rules. They annihilated one of the most fundamental ideals of our Republic — Due Process — by doing so. They stomped on it, picked it up, shred it to pieces, and threw it all in the face of Luke Simons. If that isn’t evidence of politics, then I don’t know what is.
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- North Dakota Legislative Branch Video (nd.gov)
- House Regular Resolution No. 5001 – Sixty-seventh Legislative Assembly of North Dakota – LC Number 21.3117.01000 (nd.gov)
- Port: Grand Forks Republican says embattled lawmaker Luke Simons harassed her during first session | INFORUM