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State of South Dakota

Judicial Campaigns and Elections: South Dakota

Campaign Oversight

In 1998, the South Dakota Supreme Court took steps to ensure that judicial candidates act in accordance with the code of judicial conduct during their election campaigns. The court enacted a rule requiring judicial candidates to complete a two-hour course on campaign practices, finance, and ethics sponsored by the judicial qualifications commission.

In 2006, the supreme court created the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention. The committee sends to judicial candidates the relevant code provisions and summaries of advisory opinions relating to campaign conduct and practices. Candidates are required to return a form acknowledging that they have read and understood the materials and that they agree to be bound by the standards. The committee is authorized to deal expeditiously with allegations of ethical misconduct in judicial campaigns and can issue confidential cease-and-desist requests, release a public statement regarding violations of the code, and/or refer the matter to the relevant disciplinary body.