PIERRE,S.D. (KCCR) — Circuit Judge Patricia DeVaney is now officially South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Patricia DeVaney. An Investiture ceremony appointing DeVaney as the 52nd Justice of South Dakota’s High Court was held Thursday in the State Capitol Rotunda in Pierre. Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson welcomed DeVaney to the elite group.
“Today we receive to our ranks a person who promises to be one of the very best. Judge Patricia DeVaney. Judge DeVaney possesses the prior experience to make an outstanding contribution to the South Dakota Supreme Court. This is fully recognized by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, Governor Noem and the selection process.”
DeVaney is the first Justice Governor Kristi Noem has appointed to the state’s Supreme Court and says the Polo native will bring four key virtues to the job.
“Judge DeVaney dedicated nearly 20 years of her career serving as the top prosecutor for the State of South Dakota. Now since I’ve appointed Judge DeVaney to fill the late Justice Steven Zinter’s position on our Supreme Court, I’ve heard many stories about her courage and her tenacity. Those stories boil down to four things; Judge Devaney is tough, she is smart, she is prepared and she is honorable.”
DeVaney is filling the spot held by former Justice Steven Zinter after he passed way unexpectedly last October. It’s a fact not lost on DeVaney as she recalled learning from Zinter.
“I think I can safely say that everyone of us here could have every possible minute of his brilliant legal mind analyzing our cases and making sure that we got it right and explaining to us how to apply the law in the next case that we do. I fully appreciate what a tall order it is to try to follow in the footsteps of someone like Justice Zinter. I may never reach that standard, but I will do my best to serve you, as best I can in this new capacity.”
Swearing DeVaney in was fellow Justice Janine Kern, who DeVaney says swore her in as a circuit judge seven years ago while forging her own career and being a mentor to DeVaney.