South Dakota residents are subject to South Dakota state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in South Dakota as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of South Dakota also has its own state laws. South Dakota state laws include the South Dakota Constitution, laws passed by the South Dakota legislature and periodically codified in the South Dakota Codified Laws, and decisions by courts that interpret South Dakota laws.
Comprised of 29 articles, the South Dakota Constitution was adopted in 1889, when South Dakota became a state. Some of its articles cover unusually specific topics, such as the operation of state elevators and warehouses. Article XXIII provides three ways to amend the Constitution. One way involves a ballot initiative, in which an amendment will appear on a ballot if the petition supporting it receives sufficient signatures. An amendment proposed in the legislature will appear on a ballot if a majority of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. Finally, a constitutional convention may be called through a ballot initiative and a popular vote or through a 75 percent vote in each chamber of the legislature.
The South Dakota Codified Laws contain the laws passed by the South Dakota legislature. These laws and the provisions of the South Dakota Constitution are often interpreted by the South Dakota Supreme Court, which is the only appellate court in the state. The federal South Dakota District Court also issues decisions that may affect South Dakota residents. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the South Dakota District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Eighth Circuit or from the South Dakota Supreme Court.