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The AG on J.A.I.L.

South Dakota law requires the state Attorney General to provide an explanation to be placed on the ballot for any proposed constitutional amendment. That explanation “shall be an objective, clear and simple summary to educate the voters of the purpose and effect” of the proposed amendment and “shall include a description of the legal consequences of the proposed amendment[.]”

Here is the Attorney General’s explanation of the J.A.I.L. Amendment:

Citizens serving on juries, school boards, city councils, county commissions, or in similar capacities, and prosecutors and judges, are all required to make judicial decisions. Their decisions may be reversed on appeal, or they may be removed from office for misconduct or by election. However, they cannot be made to pay money damages for making such decisions. This allows them to do their job without fear of threat or reprisal from either side.The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would allow thirteen volunteers to expose these decision makers to fines and jail, and strip them of public insurance coverage and up to one-half of their retirement benefits, for making decisions which break rules defined by the volunteers. Volunteers are drawn from those who submit their names and registered voters.

The proposed amendment is retroactive. The volunteers may penalize any decision-maker still alive for decisions made many years ago.

If approved, the proposed amendment will likely be challenged in court and may be declared to be in violation of the US Constitution. If so, the State may be required to pay attorneys fees and costs.

Thanks to PP for the heads up.


Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections

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1 comment to The AG on J.A.I.L.

  • Wild Bill

    What? No comments from the JAIL brain trust? I expect, if they are honest, they will simply say that the Attorney General has decoded their paranoid, mean spirited attempt to throw the rule of law out the window.