One Almost Gets The Feeling The Board Of Higher Ed Meant To Lose The Sioux Lawsuit


When the State Board of Higher Education sued to stop North Dakota voters from casting their ballots on the Fighting Sioux issue they assured us of the justness of their cause. In fact, they were so confident, that they and their supporters castigated the legislature for daring to hire their own lawyer to challenge the law.

But now that their case has imploded, suddenly the university system and their allies are telling a different tale. Through the egg on their face, of course.

Grant Shaft, president of the State Board of Higher Education, while disappointed the court didn’t declare the law unconstitutional, said the decision was “reasoned” and he accepts it.

So did Sen. Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, an attorney who had argued on the Senate floor last year that it was time to let the nickname go to protect UND athletes and athletic programs threatened by NCAA sanctions.

“I certainly respect the court’s decision,” he said Wednesday.

“The case deals with novel constitutional issues. By law, a constitutional decision requires four votes from the five justices. They had three, so their decision not to take it on was not surprising.”

“Not surprising.” That’s a good one, Senator Schneider. Read the rest of the article for more unintentional hilarity. There’s enough spin going on to power an entire city.

Keep in mind that these are the same learned legal experts who lecture the rest of us about the supreme, almighty power the Board of Higher Education has over the university system. The legislature can’t just pass laws and just expect them to follow. The university system is not subject to the whims of mere democracy.

They are the lords of their realm, and by all accounts if the voters approve the Fighting Sioux law (and I suspect they will because the university system has almost zero credibility with the public at this point), these same group of arrogant bureaucrats will sue again to block the law.

Claiming, again, that we’re all wrong and they’re right. I’m anxious to see how that works out for them.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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