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Published February 12, 2012, 08:47 PM

The battle for the Fighting Sioux nickname continues

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- The North Dakota Board of Higher Ed will likely seek a court ruling to declare the Fighting Sioux nickname law unconstitutional. A major meeting is planned tomorrow to look at options.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- The North Dakota Board of Higher Ed will likely seek a court ruling to declare the Fighting Sioux nickname law unconstitutional. A major meeting is planned tomorrow to look at options.

Grant Shaft, President of the State Board Of Higher Education: "If the board decides to take some action at the advice of the Attorney General, you might find that this process is again suspended."

The University of North Dakota began the process of reinstating the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo last week after learning supporters turned in enough petition signatures to put the law to a vote in June.

Grant Shaft: "Most folks reading of that constitutional provision would make it clear that this is something that is clearly under the authority of the State Board of Higher Education."

Representative Al Carlson, (R) House Majority Leader: "They must understand at the Board of Higher Education that we did our homework and we believe the original law is constitutional, because it says there are three co-equal branches of government and there is not four. The Board of Higher Ed isn't the fourth one."

But when the Board meets with State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem tomorrow, Shaft expects a different outcome.

Grant Shaft: "We'd seek some declaratory statement from the court, and the Supreme Court, that the law that was passed by the legislature last April is not constitutional."

If that nickname law authored by Carlson is found unconstitutional, Shaft says that means one thing.

Grant Shaft: "The ultimate effect is that this issue wouldn't be on the ballot in June."

Al Carlson: "It takes four or the five Supreme Court justices to prove that it's not. They might not like what happened or why the petitions are signed, but the point is the law is constitutional, in my opinion."

Shaft expects the board to seek an injunction. That would mean UND could not use the nickname until the state Supreme court rules.

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