Reaction to favorable ruling on Constitutional Amendment A

Pennington County, SD(Press Release) – Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller are pleased by the decision of Circuit Judge Christina Klinger on the legal challenge to Amendment A. On Monday the Hughes County judge agreed with Sheriff Thom, Col. Miller, and South Dakota citizens who overwhelmingly voted to pass Amendment Z in 2018 to protect our state constitution.

“The judge’s ruling today solidifies the protections that were sought in the previous passing of Amendment Z.” Sheriff Thom continues, “It is an honor to defend our state constitution, and I appreciate the judge ruling in our favor today.”

Additionally, the judge ruled that the process to modify the constitution was improper as it was a revision to the constitution rather than an amendment.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision today, though I realize that the Supreme Court will likely have the opportunity to address our constitutional concerns on their merits,” says Col. Miller.

The plaintiffs’ arguments focus on the unconstitutional drafting and proposal of this issue as a constitutional amendment. First, they cite this clause in Article XXIII Sec. 1. of the South Dakota Constitution: “A proposed amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment; however, no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.”

Second, the pleadings emphasize that Amendment A is a Constitutional Revision rather than a Constitutional Amendment, and thus was passed via an unconstitutional process.

Given that this matter faces additional litigation given the likelihood of an appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court, neither Sheriff Thom nor Col. Miller will be making further comment