Attorney General Ravnsborg announces appointment of Jay Sekulow and staff as co-counsel in pro-life appeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 


PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has prepared the following statement regarding the appointment of co-counsel in the appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of Planned Parenthood v. Noem. 

As Attorney General I have made the rights of the unborn a priority. For many years, Planned Parenthood has denied South Dakota women access to free counseling that is needed to properly inform their consent to the abortion procedure and protect them from coercion and pressure from others to have an unwanted abortion. The South Dakota Attorney General’s office is tasked with defending all state statutes, including South Dakota’s abortion counseling statute. Consequently, after the District Court denied the state’s motion to dissolve the injunction on the state’s counseling statute, I consulted the notable constitutional scholar Jay Sekulow. Mr. Sekulow has served as President Trump’s lawyer and has argued numerous cases in the United States Supreme Court and federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. 

As a result of our conversations, Mr. Sekulow and his staff have agreed to co-counsel with attorneys here in the South Dakota Attorney General’s office on the appeal now before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. To that end, I have appointed Mr. Sekulow and his staff Special Assistant Attorneys General to work alongside attorneys in the South Dakota Attorney General’s office to assist in preparing the state’s case for the next stage of this litigation in the federal appeals courts. Mr. Sekulow brings a wealth of experience in the areas of First Amendment and pro-life litigation in the federal courts. His office’s participation in this case reflects the merits of the state’s counseling statute, the strength of state’s legal position and the importance of this case in the legal fight for the unborn.” 


15 thoughts on “Attorney General Ravnsborg announces appointment of Jay Sekulow and staff as co-counsel in pro-life appeal”

  1. Where is the money coming from? How much? Let other states do the work and pay the bills and use SD money for local projects

    1. On the radio I heard he is not charging the state anything.

      So an even better deal! Great job Jason!

      1. You “heard” is not acceptable evidence and classified as a rumor. Please provide further documented references

        Politicians believe if you say something often enough and loud enough people will believe it. What you said is probably true because outside interests will pay the lawyer, but I always want documented evidence.

  2. LOL! “Co-counsel”?!?! Interesting that this did not seem to be the role / relationship outlined in the Governor’s release.
    The Governor is in the driver’s seat on this one, Jason.

    1. It’s funny the two offices issued separate releases, both claiming credit for the same thing and failing to acknowledge the other. Someone made the first phone call. Who was it?

      1. Two further questions:
        – Which party is specifically identified as the defendant in the case (with an obligation to provide reply to the court)?

        – From which party does Jay Sekulow even accept a telephone call (or return a message)?

          1. Guy from Guernsey–if the AG appointed him as he says and we all know he has the power to appoint assistant AGs…what did Noem do again, if Sekulow is doing it pro bono? How did she retain him?

            1. “ ‘On behalf of the ACLJ, I am honored to represent Governor Noem and the good people of South Dakota,’ said Jay Sekulow.”
              Not a single acknowledgement – anywhere – by Sekulow of Ravnsborg, nor of any anticipated professional legal collaboration with Ravnsborg.
              Jay Sekulow and Governor Noem are running this show.

            2. “How did she retain him?”
              Well, Cory Lewandowski (or perhaps the Governor personally) made the call to Sekulow to ask him to serve as counsel in the case; then requested that “Sekulow’s people” engage the Office of AG to arrange this in order to be in line with duties outlined in the State Constitution.
              Do you really think a top shelf constitutional lawyer such as Jay Sekulow would take a call from a legal scrub pup like Ravnsborg?
              BTW, I can see no connection with the fact that Sekulow is offering pro bono service for this case to if, or not Governor Noem made the call to solicit Sekulow’s engagement in this case.
              Total non sequitor.

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