Judicial selection in South Dakota

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in South Dakota
Seal of South Dakota.png
South Dakota Supreme Court
Method:   Comm. select., Gov. appt.
Term:   8 years
South Dakota Circuit Courts
Method:   Non-partisan elections
Term:   8 years
South Dakota Magistrate Courts
Method:   Appointment by Presiding Circuit Court Judges

Judicial selection in South Dakota is a hybrid of appointments and elections.

Supreme Court

Justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court are appointed by the governor, who receives a list of candidates from the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission. When the governor appoints a justice to fill a vacancy, the justice serves a three-year term, then stands in a retention election. Subsequent terms last eight years.

The chief justice is elected by the other justices and serves a four-year term.

In order to serve on the court, the following qualifications must be met:

  • be a U.S. citizen;
  • be a resident of South Dakota;
  • be a resident of the voting district;
  • licensed to practice law in the state; and
  • be under the age of 70.[1]

Circuit Courts

The judges of the South Dakota Circuit Courts run in non-partisan elections and serve eight-year terms. If more than two candidates run for a seat, the candidates participate in a primary. The two candidates receiving the most votes advance to the general election.

If a vacancy occurs on a court, the governor appoints a replacement, with recommendations from the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission. The replacement serves the remainder of the unexpired term.

The chief judge on the court is appointed by the chief justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court.

In order to serve on the court, the following qualifications must be met:

  • be a U.S. citizen;
  • be a resident of South Dakota;
  • be a resident of the circuit;
  • licensed to practice law in the state; and
  • be under 70 years of age.[1]

Magistrate Courts

Magistrate judges are appointed by the presiding judges of the Circuit Courts.[2]

See also

External links

References