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'Jail 4 Judges' initiative fails in South Dakota

[JURIST] South Dakota voters roundly rejected [No on Amendment E advocacy website] the so-called Jail 4 Judges [advocacy website] ballot initiative Tuesday, meaning the state will not establish a 13-person oversight committee with the power to sanction judges, prosecutors, and other decision makers who make judicial decisions that break certain rules to be established by the panel at a later date. The panel would have been granted the power to fine or jail judges and strip them of public insurance benefits and up to one-half of retirement benefits. With 818 of 818 precincts reporting Wednesday, the final unofficial results for Constitutional Amendment E [text, PDF] were:

NO 294747 89%
YES 35640 11%

Earlier this year Amendment E was singled out by former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as an extreme example of recent attacks on judicial independence [JURIST report]. The official explanation [text, scroll down] of Amendment E by the Attorney General of South Dakota suggests that the amendment would have been struck down as unconstitutional if challenged in court. The Souix Falls Argus Reader has local coverage.

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