Supreme Court won't force Senate to put South Dakota lawmaker back on committees
Rapid City senator's legislative duties to remain limited after Friday ruling
Leadership in the South Dakota Senate will not be required to put a Rapid City lawmaker back on legislative committees after being sanctioned for allegations of inappropriate behavior nearly a year ago.
That’s the outcome of a ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court Friday dismissing a petition it received last month on behalf of Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, who contends extending her removal from legislative committee assignments last year into the state’s upcoming legislative session violates her rights as an elected member of the chamber. Frye-Mueller’s filing also argued voters in District 30 where she serves are also being unlawfully deprived of their rights.
However, in a two-page opinion, the Court ruled the petition “failed to allege any facts” to support the request that the Court order Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck to reinstate Frye-Mueller’s committee assignments, which she was stripped of last year amid allegations she had acted inappropriately toward a female staff member of the Legislative Research Council.
“The Court has considered the materials submitted and determines that no further argument from the parties is necessary, as the Court concludes on its own motion that the request … is deficient on the face of the petitions,” Chief Justice Steven Jensen wrote.