Robert A. Miller

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Robert Arthur Miller (1939 - ) is a former chief justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court.


Robert Arthur Miller was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on August 28, 1939. After graduating from Washington High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1957, Miller attended the University of South Dakota where he received both his B.S. in Business Administration (1961) and a Juris Doctorate in Law (1963).

Miller began his legal career in 1963. He served as Haakon County Assistant Attorney General and later as Haakon County State's Attorney (1963 - 1965) then entered private practice (1965 - 1971) in Philip, SD.

In 1971, Miller relocated to Pierre, SD to serve as a judge in the Sixth Circuit Court (1971-1976) and later as Presiding Judge of the Sixth Circuit Court (1976 - 1986).

In 1986, Governor William Janklow appointed Miller to the South Dakota Supreme Court as an Associate Justice (1986 - 1990). Later, Miller assumed the role of Chief Justice (1990-2001). He retired holding the distinction of having served the longest term as the South Dakota Chief Justice in the history of the State Supreme Court.

During Miller's time as Chief Justice (1990 - 2001), he presided over the Inaugural ceremonies and swearing in services for three governors: George S. Mickelson in 1987 and 1993, Walter Dale Miller in 1993 (note: Walter Dale Miller was lieutenant governor in Mickelson's administration and stepped in to assume the role of governor when Mickelson was killed in a plane crash) and William J. Janklow in 1979 and 1995.

Miller was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate to a seat on the State Justice Institute (SJI) Board of Directors (1998 - 2012; chair 1998 - 2010).

During his career, Miller served on numerous judicial and non-judicial boards and commissions, including but not limited to: South Dakota State Bar Association; South Dakota Judges' Association (pres 1974 - 1975); Constitutional Revision Commission (chair 2004 - 2006); State Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission (2011- ); Criminal Code Revision Commission (2004 - 2006); Special Committee on Judicial Campaign Intervention (2006); American Arbitration Association (AAA), Commercial Neutral (2006 - ); Committee to Study Cameras in the Trial Courts (2009); Board of Trustees of South Dakota Retirement System (1974 - 1985; chair 1977 - 1983); State Crime Commission (1979 - 1981); Boys State Courts Counselor (1986 - 2001); National Awards Jury for Freedoms Foundation Advisory Council (1992); Communication Services for the Deaf; Girls State counselor/adviser (2002 - 2006); Governing Board, St.Mary’s Health Care Center (2002 – 2011, vice chair 2003 - 2004) chair (2004 - 2011); Advisory Board, Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (2002 - 2004); Fellow, W.O. Farber Center, University of South Dakota (2002 - 2006); member of Bishop's Diocesan Review Board (2003).