and the
Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.)


Views & News Relating to South Dakota Amendment E
Amendment E was defeated by South Dakota voters on November 7, 2006.
See:,,, and

  • South Dakota Amendment E — §28. Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.).
  • Statewide Ballot Initiatives: Is it Time for a Change? — Mike Ball (R), Alabama State Rep.
  • Press Release: The Judicial Accountability Amendment will be on the South Dakota November 2006 general election ballot — Bill Stegmeier, December 28, 2005.
  • House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution No. 1004 — A condemnation of the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law [PDF], February 2, 2006.
  • Bill Stegmeier's testimony to the South Dakota Senate — A defense of Amendment E against charges made in Resolution No. 1004, February 10, 2006.
  • Attorney General Larry Long's official description of Amendment E as it will be presented to South Dakota voters.
  • Bill Stegmeier's complaint to Attorney General Larry Long, stating objections to Long's wording of the Amendment E ballot [PDF], July 26, 2006.
  • The Ruling of Judge Max Gors in the Matter of Stegmeier v. Long — Case filed by Bill Stegmeier against Attorney General Larry Long, August 14, 2006.
  • Bill Stegmeier files for injunction and a restraining order to prevent the No on E Committee from disseminating false and misleading information about the Amendment E ballot initiative [PDF], filed October 30, 2006.
  • Bill Stegmeier distributes a new flyer [PDF] to counteract the false characterization of Amendment E by the No on E Committee.
    On November 7, 2006 South Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected Amendment E.




  • An Air Force veteran responds to South Dakota Senator Garry A. Moore's criticism of the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, February 15, 2006.
  • A Connecticut Newspaper concludes that: "The solution [to the abuse of judicial independence] lies in making the judiciary subject to independent scrutiny." — Hartford Courant, July 16, 2006.
  • Law Matters: Attacks on the Courts Present Real Threats — Michael A. Wolff , Your Missouri Courts, September 30, 2006.
  • South Dakota to Vote on Ending Judicial Protections — Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio, October 18, 2006 (Audio and Commentary).
  • O'Connor: Don't Call Us 'Activist Judges' — Bill Mears, CNN, October 30, 2006.
  • American Bar Association, Countering the Critics; Q&E Guide — A manual that instructs judges how to respond to complaints about the lack of accountability and other "hot-button" issues [PDF], 2006.
  • In Their Own Words — Proponents of Amendment E discuss why the measure is needed in South Dakota and elsewhere (Audio).
  • Will The People of South Dakota Withstand the Election Fraud? — Barbie Branson, J.A.I.L. News Journal, November 5, 2006.
    On November 7, 2006 South Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected Amendment E.

  • Election Fraud Suspected in Defeat of South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative — Carl Bernofsky,, November 10, 2006 (+video).
  • Synopsis of the HBO Documentary, "Hacking Democracy" — Home Box Office, 2006.
  • Did voting machines steal a Democratic victory? — Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon, November 22, 2006 (+video).
  • Ballot Initiatives Threatened Independence of Courts — Ralph J. Cappy, The Morning Call, November 16, 2006.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor Connects Court Critics to Cookie Caper — Jan LaRue, Human Events, December 7, 2006.
  • Teaching Long a lesson? J.A.I.L. amendment proponents blame official for its failure — David Kranz, Argus Leader, February 5, 2007.
  • Don't Like How the Court Ruled? Sue the Judge, Group Says — David Kranz, Argus Leader, August 28, 2005.
  • Critiquing South Dakota J.A.I.L.; A Response to David Kranz — Ron Branson, J.A.I.L. News Journal, August 29, 2005.
  • New initiative in South Dakota holds judges accountable — Marilyn Barnewall, WorldNetDaily, September 16, 2005.
  • South Dakota to Vote on Putting Judges on Trial; Statewide Initiative Would Allow Citizens to Sue Judges — Richard Acello, The ABA Journal eReport, January 13, 2006.
  • No One's Immune, Says Jail4Judges Group — Pam Smith, The Recorder, February 1, 2006.
  • How to Judge a Judge — Pam Smith, The Recorder, February 1, 2006.
  • Viewpoint: Judicial abuse stirs grassroots movement — Joe Baker, The Rock River Times, February 22, 2006.
  • J.A.I.L. Group Goes After Judges; South Dakota organization will target Nevada if November initiative is successful — Matt Pordum, The Las Vegas Sun, February 24, 2006.
  • Judicial Accountability Initiative Reaches Voters in South Dakota — Gary Treistman, Free NY, April, 2006.
  • Judging the Judges; A grassroots movement seeks revenge against offending jurists — Susan Davis, with Gary Zerman responding, California Lawyer Magazine, April, 2006.
  • Activist Wants to See Judges Judged — Jessica Garrison, The Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2006.
  • South Dakota Heads for "J.A.I.L." — S. Brooke Taylor, Washington State Bar Association, June, 2006.
  • Judges could be fired for bench decisions; Voters may give panel of citizens power to enforce accountability — WorldNetDaily, September 17, 2006.
  • Zogby Poll: South Dakota Amendment E (JAIL) Support at 67%; Controversial judicial accountability measure enjoys high support across all demographics — Bob Ellis, The Dakota Voice, September 21, 2006.
  • Today's Debate: J.A.I.L. Amendment — Lawrence C. Schroeder (For), James G. Abourezk (Against) — Argus Leader, September 25, 2006.
  • J.A.I.L. poll puts amendment ahead — Bill Harlan, The Rapid City Journal, September 27, 2006.
  • The Threat to Judicial Independence — Sandra Day O'Connor, The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2006.
  • No proper role for J.A.I.L. 4 Judges — Bruce Davidson, San Antonio Express-News, September 30, 2006.
  • Today's Debate: J.A.I.L. Amendment — Mike G. Wagner (For), Martin H. Gallanter (Against) — Argus Leader, October 12, 2006.
  • Ballots to Limit Judges' Power; Citizens Drive Movement to Restrict Judges — Ariane Devogue, ABC News, October 25, 2006.
  • CA Court Leaders to Discuss Judicial Elections and Attacks on Courts — The Bay City News, October 28, 2006.
  • South Dakota Measure Puts Judges on Edge — Nancy McCarthy, California Bar Journal, November, 2006.
  • Voting for Judicial Independence — Editorial, The New York Times, November 2, 2006.
  • State Ballot Measures Challenge Judges' Power — Bill Mears, CNN, November 3, 2006.
  • KELO-TV Poll: Judicial Accountability — Matt Belanger, KELOLAND-TV, November 4, 2006.
  • O'Connor Worries About Courts' Autonomy — Associated Press, November 5, 2006.
    On November 7, 2006 South Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected Amendment E.

  • George Praises Defeat of South Dakota Judicial Accountability Measure — Tina Bay, Metropolitan News, Los Angeles, November 9, 2006.
  • Fight Against 'Judicial Activism' to Continue Despite U.S. Election Setbacks — Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, November 10, 2006.
  • Throw away the key on Jail4Judges — Tom Dennis, Grand Forks Herald, November 13, 2006.
  • Set to Move On; Circuit Judge Looks Back on Distinguished Judicial Career — Kate Turnbow, Capital Journal, Pierre, December 27, 2006.
  • Bill Would Create Law on Collecting Signatures — with Bill Stegmeier responding, Argus Leader, January 31, 2007.

    Preceding Campaigns with Insufficient Signatures for Ballot Status:


  • California Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.).
  • 'Jail 4 Judges' targets judicial corruption; Only 7 removed from bench in 9,529 abuse cases — Frank York, WorldNetDaily, August 30, 1999.


    – Renewed in 2006 –

  • Florida Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.).
  • Independence panel concerned by threats; J.A.I.L.4Judges seeks to subject sitting judges to civil and criminal penalties imposed by special tribunals — Gary Blankenship, The Florida Bar News, July 15, 2006.
  • Despite SD loss, J.A.I.L.4Judges targets Florida; Attorneys urged to be prepared for the fight — Gary Blankenship, The Florida Bar News, January 15, 2007.
  • Ex-Marine Seeks Judicial Reform — Diane Nichols, News Chief, January 19, 2007.

  • Idaho Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.).
  • Idaho J.A.I.L.ers to barnstorm state in March; Judicial accountability advocates must secure 43,685 petition signatures by May to get J.A.I.L. 4 Judges on the ballot for elections next November — The Idaho Observer, February, 2002.

  • Amendment E was defeated by South Dakota voters on November 7, 2006.
    See:,,, and


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