Supreme Court holds session at SDSU

Brendan Stratton

Brendan Stratton

The South Dakota State Supreme Court held its September and October sessions at SDSU.

The Court heard a total of nine oral arguments at the Performing Arts Center on Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1, and it also considered several non-oral cases.

All citizens were invited to attend any session of the Court. Del Lonowski of the political science department said the reason for the Court’s visit is to make the judicial body available to the people.

Every student has something to gain from attending a session. This is a chance for citizens to learn more about how the judicial system works.

Lonowski said, “Serving on a jury provided a lot of insight on how our justice system works.”

Cases that the Court heard included the conviction of Brad Reay for the killing of his wife in Pierre and also whether South Dakota Rep. Roger Hunt must identify the donor of $750,000 to an anti-abortion campaign two years ago. A list of the cases that were heard can be found on the South Dakota Unified Judicial System Web site at

Students’ Association President Chris Daugaard was excited about the visit. He said the Court coming to town was not an everyday thing and was a great opportunity for SDSU and the community. It was not just a publicity stunt but a chance to see the justices conduct business, said Daugaard.

The Court coming to SDSU also allowed Chief Justice David E. Gilbertson to return to SDSU. Justice Gilbertson received his bachelor’s degree from SDSU in 1972. He then received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1975. Justice Gilbertson has served on the South Dakota State Supreme Court since April 1995. He was appointed Chief Justice in September 2001.