The Washington Bar Association comments about the South Dakota JAIL movement

To take a break from all the activity in the State Legislative Primaries - take a look at what someone else has to say about JAIL. From the Washington State Bar Association, the president of that State's Bar chimes in on the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Measure:

The measure is so extreme, and so conspicuously vindictive, that it would be humorous if it were not so serious. Unfortunately, the proponents are dead serious, and initial polling in South Dakota showed voters favoring the ballot measure at a rate of 3 to 1! This measure is clearly a stalking horse for a larger effort, and Mr. Branson claims to have organizations in all 50 states ready to march ahead. The potential destruction of the doctrine of judicial immunity has caused so much concern in legal and political circles in South Dakota, that the South Dakota Legislature took the extraordinary step of passing a resolution unanimously imploring its citizens to oppose the ballot measure. This is the same body that recently passed a law banning abortion in South Dakota, and presumably unanimity on any subject is rare.

The most obvious and immediate result of the passage of this initiative would be a challenge to its validity on constitutional grounds, which, if successful, simply replaces the initiative with a direct confrontation between its proponents and the courts, which the proponents would no doubt relish, contending that it simply proves their point. If a court were to uphold the initiative, or enough of it for it to function, then the second most obvious impact would be to give new meaning to the term "clearing the bench." What judge in his or her right mind would stay on to the bench in a system where unhappy litigants have such a remedy at their disposal? The only effective remedy is for the measure to be turned back at the polls, "by the people," in order to take the steam out of this movement. Many South Dakotans are joining with the legal community to oppose this measure, and an expensive and bitter campaign is anticipated.

Read it all here. And I do think they have it wrong on the level of support. The only poll I saw showed initial support at incredibly low levels.


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