South Dakota Constitution

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South Dakota Constitution
Seal of South Dakota.jpg
The South Dakota Constitution is the document that establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure and function of the government of South Dakota.


See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the South Dakota Constitution reads:

We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.

History: Amendment proposed by SL 1975, ch 1, rejected Nov. 2, 1976.


Article I

Main article: Article I, South Dakota Constitution

Article I is titled "Name and Boundary". It contains two sections:

  • Section 1: Name of state.
  • Section 2: Boundaries of state.

Article II

Main article: Article II, South Dakota Constitution

Article II is titled "Division of The Powers of Government". It reads:

The powers of the government of the state are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial; and the powers and duties of each are prescribed by this Constitution.

Article III

Main article: Article III, South Dakota Constitution

Article III is titled "Legislative Department". It contains 32 sections. The first section declares "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures."[2]

Article IV

Main article: Article IV, South Dakota Constitution

Article IV is titled "Executive Department". It contains 13 sections, but sections 10-13 have been superseded.

Article V

Main article: Article V, South Dakota Constitution

Article V is titled "Judicial Department". It contains 39 sections, but 14-39 have been superseded.

Article VI

Main article: Article VI, South Dakota Constitution

Article VI is titled "Bill of Rights". It contains 27 sections.

Article VII

Main article: Article VII, South Dakota Constitution

Article VII is titled "Elections and Right of Suffrage". It contains ten sections, but four through ten have been superseded.

Article VIII

Main article: Article VIII, South Dakota Constitution

Article VIII is titled Education and School Lands.

Article IX

Main article: Article IX, South Dakota Constitution

Article IX is titled Local Government.

Article X

Main article: Article X, South Dakota Constitution

Article X is titled Municipal Corporations.

Article XI

Main article: Article XI, South Dakota Constitution

Article XI is titled Revenue and Finance.

Article XII

Main article: Article XII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XII is titled Public Accounts and Expenditures.

Article XIII

Main article: Article XIII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XIII is titled Public Indebtedness.

Article XIV

Main article: Article XIV, South Dakota Constitution

Article XIV is titled State Institutions.

Article XV

Main article: Article XV, South Dakota Constitution

Article XV is titled Militia.

Article XVI

Main article: Article XVI, South Dakota Constitution

Article XVI is titled Impeachment and Removal From office.

Article XVII

Main article: Article XVII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XVII is titled Corporations.

Article XVIII

Main article: Article XVIII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XVIII is titled Banking and Currency.

Article XIX

Main article: Article XIX, South Dakota Constitution

Article XIX is titled Congressional and Legislative Apportionment.

Article XX

Main article: Article XX, South Dakota Constitution

Article XX is titled Seat of Government.

Article XXI

Main article: Article XXI, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXI is titled Miscellaneous.

Article XXII

Main article: Article XXII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXII is titled Compact with the United States.

Article XXIII

Main article: Article XXIII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXIII is titled Amendments and Revisions of the Constitution.

Article XXIV

Main article: Article XXIV, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXIV is titled Prohibition.

Article XXV

Main article: Article XXV, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXV is titled Minority Representation.

Article XXVI

Main article: Article XXVI, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXVI is titled Schedule and Ordinance.

Article XXVII

Main article: Article XXVII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXVII is titled State Control of Manufacture and Sale of Liquor.

Article XXVIII

Main article: Article XXVIII, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXVIII is titled County Investment of Permanent School and Endowment Funds.

Article XXIX

Main article: Article XXIX, South Dakota Constitution

Article XXIX is titled State Elevators, Warehouses, Flouring Mills, and Packing Houses.

Amending state constitutions

Main article: Article XXIII, South Dakota Constitution and Amending state constitutions

Amendments to the South Dakota Constitution may be proposed in three different ways:

  • Initiated constitutional amendments. South Dakota is one of 18 states were amendments can be proposed through ballot initiative. Amendments proposed by petition must be "signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election."

Whether proposed by initiative or by the state legislature, an amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment.[3]

South Dakotans can also change their constitution through a convention, according to Section 2 of Article XXIII. There are two ways a convention can happen:

  • The state legislature can call a convention through a 75% vote "of all the members of each house." (This vote of the state legislature does not need to then go to a vote of the people; they can directly call a convention with 75% of their membership.)
  • Conventions can also be "initiated and submitted to the voters in the same manner as an amendment" by collecting signatures on petitions and putting the question about whether to have a convention to a vote of the state's electors.

External links


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