South Dakota Supreme Court

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South Dakota Supreme Court
SouthDakota-StateSeal.svg
Established 1889
Country United States United States
Location Pierre, South Dakota
Authorized by South Dakota Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length 8 years
Number of positions 5
Website Official Website
Chief Justice
Currently David Gilbertson
Since 2001
Jurist term ends 2022

The South Dakota Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of South Dakota. It is composed of a chief justice and four associate justices appointed by the governor. One justice is selected from each of five geographic appointment districts. Justices face a nonpolitical retention election three years after appointment and every eight years after that. The justices also select their own chief justice.

The Supreme Court of South Dakota serves as the final appellate court in the state, reviewing the decisions of state circuit courts.[1] The Supreme Court is also authorized to issue original or remedial writs and provide advice to the governor regarding the scope of executive powers.

The court also provides administration for South Dakota's unified court system, preparing and submitting the judiciary's annual budget, appointing court personnel, and generally supervising the circuit courts. The court is also charged with making the rules covering practice and procedure, administration of the courts, terms of courts, admissions to the bar, and discipline of members of the bar within the state of South Dakota.

History[edit]

The Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory was established in Yankton, South Dakota in 1861. It was the first Territorial Supreme Court in American history. Initially, justices were appointed directly by the President of the United States. The first court consisted of three justices: Philemon Bliss, George P. Williston, and Joseph L. Williams, appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. The court heard no cases until December 3, 1867.[2] In 1879 the court enlarged to four justices, then six in 1884, and eight in 1888.

In 1889, the Dakota Territory was split into North Dakota and South Dakota, and the Territorial Supreme Court was formally dissolved by President Benjamin Harrison. An election was held in South Dakota to select the first state supreme court. Justices Dighton Corson, Alphonso G. Kellam, and John E. Bennett were elected and sworn-in October 15, 1889. Since there was no capitol building yet for the new state, the oath-taking ceremony took place on the Hughes County courthouse veranda.[3] The court was forced to use the county courthouse until 1891 when it began holding court in the state legislature's senate chambers. The South Dakota Supreme Court did not receive its own chambers until the autumn of 1905.[4]

In 2002, Judith Meierhenry was appointed by Governor William Janklow as the first female Supreme Court Justice. She served until her retirement in 2011.

Justices[edit]

Supreme Court Justices[edit]

The current justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court[5]

Title Name Appointment Current Term Ends Law School Graduated From Appointed by
Chief Justice David Gilbertson 1995 2022 University of South Dakota School of Law William J. Janklow
Associate Justice Steven L. Zinter 2002 2022 University of South Dakota School of Law William J. Janklow
Associate Justice Glen A. Severson 2009 2020 University of South Dakota School of Law M. Michael Rounds
Associate Justice Lori S. Wilbur 2011 2022 University of South Dakota School of Law Dennis Daugaard
Associate Justice Janine M. Kern 2014 2018 University of Minnesota Law School Dennis Daugaard

Past justices of the Supreme Court including justices of the Dakota Territorial Supreme Court.[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Unified Judicial System of South Dakota, South Dakota Supreme Court, rev. July 2002
  2. ^ "Territorial Supreme Court". The South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota Unified Judicial System. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Supreme Court History". The South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota Unified Judicial System. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Supreme Court Housing". The South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota Unified Judicial System. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Supreme Court Home". The South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota Unified Judicial System. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 

External links[edit]