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* * Entire South Dakota Supreme Court Recuses Themselves * *

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  • JAIL4Judges
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ______________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California December 3, 2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2007

      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles, California                              December 3, 2007


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      Entire South Dakota Supreme Court Recuses Themselves

      Most everyone experienced with courts knows how difficult it is to acquire a recusal of a judge in their case. We have even witnessed a judge who decided the question involving whether he was biased, or not. He, of course, found himself not to be biased, and so finding, he ruled that he was qualified to continue on with the case despite a sworn declaration to the contrary that was to be heard by another judge!

      The below is an unheard-of incident where all five justices of the Supreme Court of South Dakota have recused themselves from a case involving the public’s right to know the truth.

      Ironically, it is the public’s right to know that is involved in the recent November 7th election in South Dakota , wherein the electorate were deprived of the knowledge of the issue regarding Amendment E, and were left to blindly trust the honesty of State Attorney General Long’s ballot “explanation.” We anticipate a real legal explosion regarding the right to vote in South Dakota to be forthcoming.  –Ron Branson

      State justices take themselves off case

      Rapid City Journal



      PIERRE (AP) -- All five justices on the South Dakota Supreme Court have disqualified themselves from hearing an appeal in an open-records lawsuit.

      The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls is seeking the names of those invited to last year's Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

      The justices did not give a reason for taking themselves off the appeal, but a lawyer in the case had suggested earlier that the justices might disqualify themselves if they had been invited to the hunt.

      Judith Roberts, lawyer for the state's Unified Judicial System, said the justices don't even tell their staff why they disqualify themselves.

      Five lower court judges - Glenn Severson, John Bastian, Jack von Wald, Arthur Rusch and Steven Jensen - have been appointed as replacement justices in the case. They could treat the case just as if they were permanent justices, Roberts said.

      "It won't affect it at all. The judges that have been appointed to hear the case are veterans. They are well qualified," Roberts said.

      The governor uses the annual hunt partly to attract businesses to South Dakota .

      In April, Circuit Judge Max Gors ruled that because the state is not required to maintain a list of those invited to the hunt, it is not required to make the list public. The Argus Leader wants the Supreme Court to look at the larger issue of the public's right to know.

      "We believe that the heartbeat of any democracy in South Dakota, or anywhere else, is the right of the electorate to know what its government at all levels is doing," Randell Beck, the Argus Leader's executive editor, said Thursday.

      The list might be a narrow issue, but the case could open future government actions and make officials more accountable, Beck said.

      "It may not directly affect me now, but what about the next time and the time after that?"


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