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Meierhenry: Amendment S Billionaire Backer “Delusional”

Meanwhile, one Republican is able to oppose a ballot measure on something other than partisan grounds. Sioux Falls attorney and first Janklow-era Attorney General Mark Meierhenry joined his South Dakota bar colleagues at their state convention last month in near unanimous denunciation of Amendment S, the purported crime victims’ bill of rights. California billionaire Henry T. Nicholas has been pushing what he calls “Marsy’s Law” in memory of his sister, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Now Meierhenry calls Nicholas’s support for this vanity astroturf “delusional”:

Mark Meierhenry
Mark Meierhenry

“(Nicholas) would consider that appropriate to her memory, but I think he’s delusional because this will hurt South Dakota,” Mark Meierhenry, a former South Dakota attorney general, said. “This is an individual pushing Marsy’s Law as an answer to a 1983 California crime.”

Meierhenry said many of the principles in the amendment are already covered under state law and law enforcement officers work to ensure that victims are respected and afforded the resources they need.

He said voters should oppose the amendment to ensure that victim’s desire to seek vengeance doesn’t temper the judicial process.

“It should be defeated for no other reason than these people are trying to implant their ideas into our constitution,” Meierhenry said [Dana Ferguson, “The California Billionaire Bankrolling Marsy’s Law,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.07.06].

I have yet to hear of any grassroots organizations in South Dakota endorsing Amendment S.


  1. Dick Kappedal 2016-07-08 00:40

    Don’t like “Carpet Baggers’ telling us what to do.

    IMHO, What works in California may not be a good for for South Dakota.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-08 07:25

    Dick, a “carpet bagger” would at least have the courtesy to move here, campaign for the law himself, and live under it. Henry T. Nicholas just stays in California and sends his vast sums of money to interfere with our politics.

    Your apt concern about translating laws from state to state is at the center of Meierhenry’s objection, as it is at the center of objections of the North Dakota lawyers fighting the proposal on their turf. Nicholas doesn’t do us the courtesy of studying South Dakota law, engaging in conversations with local experts like Meierhenry, identifying differences between California law and South Dakota law, and working with South Dakota lawmakers to craft a measure that takes into account existing South Dakota statutes and needs that differ from California’s.

  3. Rorschach 2016-07-08 07:45

    How do you bring prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers together? Have an out-of-state billionaire pay a hired gun to come in and complain about South Dakota’s laws without going to the legislature to change them. Have that out-of-state billionaire and his hired gun try to change our state constitution trying to impose burdens on prosecutors and expenses on taxpayers and force additional pre-trial detention on people charged with crimes but not convicted of anything. Make prosecutors and defense lawyers and judges jump through more hoops in every case – and have taxpayers pay for the make-work.

    Jason Glodt is making bank on this, but as a lawyer he ought to be ashamed of signing onto this attack on the South Dakota constitution just to make a buck.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-07-08 08:01

    Ror, will his work for Henry T. Nicholas have any impact on Jason Glodt’s standing within the SDGOP?

  5. Rorschach 2016-07-08 08:52


  6. Douglas Wiken 2016-07-08 11:16

    Apart from the source, this is a tribal feudal vengeance proposal. South Dakota has enough people languishing in prison compared to the rest of the country that another proposal pushing for longer sentences is not what we need.

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