South Dakota Same-Sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional by Federal judge, but stayed pending appeal.

Twitter has been lighting up with a decision by Federal Judge Karen Schreier being released, and notes in part:

In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving from marrying. Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving. Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification. Accordingly, it is

ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 20) is granted, and defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 43) is denied.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that SDCL 25-1-1, SDCL 25-1-38, Article 21, Section 9 of the South Dakota Constitution, and any other provision of state law that precludes people from marrying, or refuses to recognize an existing marriage, solely because the individuals are of the same gender are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants are enjoined from enforcing those laws or otherwise declining to issue a marriage license solely because the applicants are of the same gender.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a separate judgment will be entered and the effects of that judgment will be stayed until the judgment is final.

Dated January 12, 2015.

Read the decision here.

It appears that the decision is stayed, pending an appeal which is most certain to happen.  (What was I saying about that issue coming up in session?)

What do you think? And how is this going to shape legislation coming out of session?

Town Hall Columnist writing about poor Annette Bosworth. And citing flawed sources.

I’m finally back at my home base after a fun day in Pierre yesterday. (Yes, you can have fun in Pierre).   I was taking some time to go through my Google Alerts, and noted the column written by the former US Term Limits guy defending poor Annette Bosworth from the harsh government action being taken by the state of South Dakota:

Now, for her trouble, she faces jail, fines, and the destruction of her career.

“This is not Jacklanistan,” Mr. Stranahan fumes about AG Jackley’s persecution of Bosworth. “This is South Dakota. This is America. And what’s going on up here is simply wrong.”

“The reasonable thing to do in the Bosworth case would seem to be a misdemeanor charge with a penalty and no felony charges,” Howie reasonably suggests. “That would be a win-win situation. Bosworth accepts a reasonable consequence and the integrity of the election process is preserved.”

Howie also notes that Marty Jackley wants to run for governor, and that his bizarre prosecution of Dr. Bosworth might not make much sense to future voters.

Read it here.

I’m not sure whether this article citing former S&M porn guy Lee Stranahan and indy Senate candidate Gordon Howie was to be taken in a humorous vein, or if it was serious. Unfortunately for the Town Hall column, the Howie piece illustrated Howie’s own ignorance by claiming that the Attorney General collects petition signatures. Which he doesn’t – it’s chosen by convention.

But even worse, the column ignores the corruption that Howie’s column is not only suggesting, but flat out requesting  – The article heavily relied on Gordon Howie’s hit piece against Jackley where Howie bizarrely suggests Jackley selectively not prosecute to curry favor with voters.

So, according to the the original Howie article and the Town Hall article it cites, prosecuting based on a indictment handed down by a grand jury is bad. Selectively refusing to prosecute to curry favor with voters is good.

If that’s the type of America that Paul Jacobs is seeking, we’re all in a lot of trouble.

Secretary of State hasn’t seen language on Felon voting bill, feels 2012 measure is appropriate.

In recent days, much has been written about State Senator Craig Tieszen’s proposal to relax the current voting prohibition on convicted felons voting until completion of their sentence. But don’t look for the Secretary of State to support Tieszen’s proposal.

In fact, it remains to be seen whether anyone has asked the incoming Secretary of State for input on the measure being proposed.

In an interview with, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, while she cedes authority to propose the measure rests with the legislative branch; as the person who would work with the court system to implement it, Krebs notes that she “hasn’t seen the language in the bill” yet. Krebs went on to note that ultimately, “any changes would be voted on by the legislature.”

While the American Civil Liberties Union was active in lobbying for relaxed voting restrictions on convicted felons in 2012, as the state’s chief elections officer, Krebs hasn’t heard from any outside groups on the bill at this point.

Krebs told SDWC that “Anything that has to do with felons voting is a public policy issue that rests with the legislature.” And, while she “can’t speak for the legislature,” Krebs doesn’t “see supporting any changes to current statute,” and feels that the changes in the 2012 proposal primed by State Senator Gene Abdallah “are what’s appropriate.”

Krebs went on to say that she is in “approval of the current law.“

Gordon Howie says he’s not doing a hit piece on Marty Jackley. (So yes, it’s a hit piece.)

In an odd passive-agressive manner directed towards Attorney General Marty Jackley, independent Senate Candidate Gordon Howie continues to press his line against law and order and says that Jackley can’t win Governor if he prosecutes Annette Bosworth.

It’s no secret that Attorney General Marty Jackley would like to be Governor.

Before you read further, dispel from your thoughts any idea that this is a “hit”” piece.


What I am hearing is that this case strikes people as akin to the Obama and Nixon use of IRS to attack conservatives. It’s like the ever-less popular Boehner now punishing his rivals.

Whether that is true or untrue is not the issue. The PRECEPTION of whether it is true or untrue is significant. It has been said that in politics, perception is reality. It is true that even ONE felony conviction would cost Bosworth her license to practice medicine. That seems like a pretty extreme penalty to most people, and makes the AG look like a vengeful bully in the eyes of many watching this case.


The reasonable thing to do in the Bosworth case would seem to be a misdemeanor charge with a penalty and no felony charges. That would be a win-win situation. Bosworth accepts a reasonable consequence and the integrity of the election process is preserved.

Another “win” might be for the Jackley for Governor committee.

Read this silliness here.

It’s pretty early in the day to declare this the dumbest thing I’ve read today. But, this is by far the dumbest thing I will read today, and a good testament to why Gordon should not be ever elected to anything ever again.

Observing how Marty has conducted his office (Believe me, I know), he makes his prosecutorial decisions based on evidence, and whether he believes there is sufficient evidence to move forward. It’s not a matter of playing favorites. It’s not a matter of using his office to rack up a scorecard to campaign.

Just yesterday, he announced they were not going to proceed with a case of someone they had already convicted of a traffic fatality. Why? Because there was new evidence to the contrary.

It might be Gordon’s “PRECEPTION“, but that doesn’t strike me as prosecutorial zeal. That strikes me as being reasonable.

Instead of spouting a line of silliness telling Marty he won’t be able to run for Governor if he prosecutes Boz, maybe Gordon’s commentary should be directed elsewhere. Such as towards the person being prosecuted.

If Annette had wanted to accept a plea deal for a lesser charge to save her license to practice medicine, I suspect the time would have been several months ago, when she was choosing to play musical lawyers and using a former pornographer to go on the attack.

I, like many South Dakotans look forward this this being resolved, and the Bosworth Family Circus finally going away. But, it needs to be resolved the right way. Not, as Gordon suggests, for political gain.

And with Marty at the wheel, I trust that’s it’s being handled towards the ends of justice.

Press Release: Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined an amicus brief, filed by the State of Nebraska in which 25 Bi-Partisan Attorneys General seek to protect Second Amendment rights.

The brief was filed in the case of Jackson v. San Francisco in opposition of a city ordinance that required all citizens who possess handguns in their homes to disable them or to stow them away in a lock box whenever the guns are not being physically carried on the person.

“The Second Amendment permits law-abiding citizens the fundamental right to bear arms in the defense of themselves and their families. As Attorney General, I strongly encourage the safekeeping of firearms in the home particularly when children are present to avoid an accident. However, the government should not come into our home, dictate and enforce how to keep firearms,” said Jackley.

The brief argues that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep a “lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense” and the ordinance makes it impractical, if not impossible, for a law abiding citizen to exercise his or her right.

The Attorneys General argue that review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is critical because San Francisco’s ordinance violates the Second Amendment based on the Supreme Court’s striking of a similar trigger-lock requirement for a handgun in the home in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). The U.S Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment “elevates above all other interests the right to law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Heller. Indeed, “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, (2010). And because it is a right “fundamental to our scheme of ordering liberty,” it applies equally to states and municipalities. McDonald.

The Attorneys General from the following states are participating: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Jackley: No Further Prosecution based on New Evidence.

State Will Take No Further Action on Tragic Traffic Fatality of July 30, 2000

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D. – Today Attorney General Marty J. Jackley and Meade County State’s Attorney Kevin J. Krull announced that, based on additional evidence that has surfaced, the State will take no further action against Oakley Engesser in relation to the tragic traffic fatality of Dorothy Finley.

In 2001, Oakley Engesser was charged with vehicular homicide and battery as a result of a crash near the Tilford weigh station on I-90 that killed Dorothy Finley on July 30, 2000. According to jury trial testimony, Engesser left the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, with Finley around 6:00 p.m. on July 30, 2000. They drove off in Finley’s red corvette, and around 8:10 p.m. their car collided with a minivan on I-90. They had been traveling 112 miles per hour at the time, and their car rolled over one and a half times before coming to rest upside down in the median. Finley was killed in the accident, and two of the minivan’s occupants were injured.

At the time of the crash Engesser’s blood alcohol level was approximately .125. In addition to physical evidence pointing to Engesser as the driver, the jury viewed a video recording of his interview with the Highway Patrol in which Engesser agreed he could have been driving, though he did not remember anything after leaving the Full Throttle Saloon.

Since the jury trial, new witnesses in 2007 and 2013 surfaced indicating that they saw a woman driving the Corvette shortly before the crash. Although the Supreme Court recognized that Engesser was found guilty by a jury of his peers in an error-free trial, it granted Engesser’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a new trial based upon the new witness information.

“Based upon the new witness testimony and the available evidence from the original trial regarding an event that occurred 14 years ago, and considering input from Dorothy Finley’s family, the State does not intend to move forward with a second trial. The State does reserve the right to evaluate any further evidence that may surface regarding any potential future action. It is my hope that the conclusion of these proceedings will help bring closure to all families that have been involved in this tragic accident,” said Attorney General Jackley.

Press Release: Krebs Becomes South Dakota’s 28th Secretary of State

Krebs Becomes South Dakota’s 28th Secretary of State

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs was officially sworn in to office by Chief Justice David Gilbertson this morning in the South Dakota Supreme Court Chamber at the State Capitol in Pierre, SD.

Secretary Krebs opted to take the official oath of office ahead of next weekend’s traditional inauguration events.

“We have a very aggressive package of election reform legislation” , said Krebs. “We want to take advantage of an extra week of preparation before the legislative session begins.”

Along with Secretary Krebs, Deputy Secretaries of State Teresa Bray, Tom Deadrick and Kea Warne also were sworn in this morning.

Shantel Krebs is South Dakota’s 28th Secretary of State. Her prior public service includes ten years in the South Dakota legislature with three terms in the house and two in the senate. A native of Arlington, SD, Secretary Krebs now lives in Fort Pierre with her husband Mitch.