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State of South Dakota

Judicial Selection in the States: South Dakota

Overview

News

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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South Dakota's unified judicial system consists of the supreme court, the circuit court, and magistrate courts. Supreme court justices are appointed by the governor from a list of candidates submitted by the judicial qualifications commission, and circuit court judges are chosen in nonpartisan elections.

In 2004, South Dakota voters were asked to decide whether circuit court judges, like supreme court justices, should be selected through a merit process. Voters rejected the measure by a 62-38 margin.