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State of South Dakota

Judicial Selection in the States: South Dakota

Overview

News

New Mexico uses a unique system of judicial selection for the state s top courts (Supreme, Court of Appeals, District, and Metropolitan) that includes partisan...

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The latest effort to end merit/commission selection for Arizona s appellate courts and Superior Courts has been refiled. HCR 2030 would require partisan elections for...

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The Utah House this week approved a bill to remove the power of an executive branch agency to set evaluation criteria for the state s...

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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.