'Jail 4 Judges' initiative fails in South Dakota

[JURIST] South Dakota voters roundly rejected [No on Amendment E advocacy website] the so-called Jail 4 Judges [advocacy website] ballot initiative Tuesday, meaning the state will not establish a 13-person oversight committee with the power to sanction judges, prosecutors, and other decision makers who make judicial decisions that break certain rules to be established by the panel at a later date. The panel would have been granted the power to fine or jail judges and strip them of public insurance benefits and up to one-half of retirement benefits. With 818 of 818 precincts reporting Wednesday, the final unofficial results for Constitutional Amendment E [text, PDF] were:

NO 294747 89%
YES 35640 11%

Earlier this year Amendment E was singled out by former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as an extreme example of recent attacks on judicial independence [JURIST report]. The official explanation [text, scroll down] of Amendment E by the Attorney General of South Dakota suggests that the amendment would have been struck down as unconstitutional if challenged in court. The Souix Falls Argus Reader has local coverage.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.