South Dakota

South Dakota Supreme Court By The Numbers:


Former prosecutor

Both a former prosecutor & civil rights lawyer

  • 5 total seats
  • 0 current vacancies
  • 3 prosecutors
  • 0 public defenders
  • 1 Justice is both a former prosecutor & civil rights lawyer
  • 1 Justice has other indigent defense experience
  • 1 civil rights lawyer

How Members of the South Dakota Supreme Court are Selected:

Appointment, Retention Election

The government appoints justices from a shortlist provided by the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission, which consists of two judges elected by the state’s Judicial Conference, three lawyers chosen by the state bar association, and two members of the public appointed by the governor. Newly-appointed judges serve three-year terms and then stand for retention elections to serve subsequent eight-year terms.

Selection method sources:

Ballotpedia, Judicial Election Methods By State; Brennan Center for Justice, Judicial Selection: An Interactive Map