UPDATE: Senate Bill 116 failed in the House State Affairs Committee.
Senate Bill 116 would require that the South Dakota Legislature’s Executive Board receive notice of any state or federal lawsuit regarding the constitutionality or validity of South Dakota’s election laws and then decide whether to become involved.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes Senate Bill 116. Injecting the state legislature into lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of election laws threaten judicial independence by limiting courts’ power or injecting more politics into state judiciaries. It leaves voting rights at risk and undermines a critical check against abuses of power during our elections.
One essential function of state courts is guarding against legislative efforts to weaken democracy. The ability of voters to fight back using the legal system should not be undermined.