Judicial selection in South Dakota varies depending on the level of court. Candidates for the Supreme Court are chosen by a nominating commission and, from those candidates, the Governor makes the appointment. Justices must then face retention elections at the end of their terms. Magistrate judges are appointed by the presiding justices of the Circuit Courts.
Judges of the Circuit Courts are selected in non-partisan elections. If more than two candidates are seeking one judgeship, a primary is held. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary advance to the general election. Midterm vacancies on the Circuit Courts are filled by gubernatorial appointment through a nominating commission.