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North Dakota Secretary of State prepares for "Fighting Sioux" ballot measure lawsuit

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February 29, 2012

BISMARCK, North Dakota: A referendum regarding the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname has filed petition signatures but is not yet certified for the statewide ballot. However, now the measure faces a legal challenge.

On February 14, North Dakota's Board of Higher Education voted to file a lawsuit aimed at keeping the referendum off the ballot. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said he believes the North Dakota Supreme Court will weigh in on the dispute quickly, and that the court has invoked it's original jurisdiction in hearing high profile cases and will likely do so in this case.[1][2]

As of February 27, Secretary of State Al Jaeger has hired two lawyers - Sarah Andrews Herman and Matthew Kipp of Fargo - to represent the office in the case. In general, Stenehjem would represent Jaeger, however he is representing the Board of Higher Education. Jaeger's lawyers have until March 6th to file arguments.[3]

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