Rep. Simons’ expulsion is unprecedented, local political science professor says

Local News

With Rep. Luke Simons now expelled, one political science professor highlights just how unprecedented Thursday’s decision was.

According to University of Mary Political Science Professor Mark Springer, never in North Dakota history has the legislature moved to expel one of its members.

Springer says the proceedings happening on Thursday are in line with his understanding of the state Constitution, which allows leadership to take action against misconduct.

The last time any discipline was taken against a member was in 1890 when two Senators were censured.

“The only time it’s ever come up is with the governor, but not with anyone in the state legislature, so we haven’t had anything of this nature. I mean, there’s been people that have actively stepped aside or decided not to run for reelection in the past, but it’s rare during a session to have this type of situation and issue come up,” said Springer.

Springer says the session is a bit unique for other reasons, too.

North Dakota has never had a candidate die while running for a seat in the legislature, or had the same COVID protocols to deal with during the session.

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