The state of South Dakota has three branches of government:
executive, legislative, and judicial. The current governor is M.
Michael Rounds. Currently, there are 35 members of the state
Senate and 70 members of the House of Representatives. The state
is composed of 35 legislative districts. Voters elect one
senator and two representatives from each district.
legislature meets for a thirty day session
starting on the second Tuesday in January,
and also if the governor calls a special
session. The state Supreme Court is the
highest court in South Dakota and the court
of last resort for state appellate actions.
The chief justice and four justices comprise
the South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota
is divided into seven judicial circuits.
There are 39 circuit judges serving in the
seven circuits. Circuit courts are the
state's trial courts of general
jurisdiction. There are 12 full-time and
three part-time magistrate judges in the
seven circuits. Magistrate courts assist the
circuit courts in disposing of misdemeanor
criminal cases and minor civil actions.
These courts of limited jurisdiction make
the judicial system more accessible to the
public by providing a means of direct court
contact for the average citizen. South
Dakota is represented at the federal level
by Senator Tim Johnson, Senator John Thune,
and Representative Stephanie Herseth