The Senate’s special committee investigating Senators Brock Greenfield and Kris Langer for legislating while intoxicated held its first meeting yesterday to set rules and arrange for testimony from witnesses of the Veto-Plus Day tomfoolery.
Among the signals that there is serious political manuevering afoot, former Attorney General Marty Jackley showed up at the hearing as Langer and Greenfield’s lawyer:
Five Republicans and four Democrats are scrutinizing what Senate Republican leader Kris Langer of Dell Rapids and Senate president pro tem Brock Greenfield of Clark said and did.
Former state Attorney General Marty Jackley represents them. Jackley objected several times Tuesday morning to Senator Art Rusch, chair of the investigation committee, challenging whether the Legislature had authority under state law and what evidence should be allowed.
…Jackley warned “the courts may need to get involved” if the investigation proceeded, but Rusch said the committee would go ahead.
Jackley later objected that he hadn’t received the Highway Patrol security videos. Rusch denied the objection [Bob Mercer, “Senators Begin Probe into Whether S.D. Republican Senate Leaders Were Intoxicated,” KELO-TV, updated 2020.04.22].
Part of me would like to see Jackley take this matter to court, where we might see more documents made public. However, a trip across Euclid to the courthouse or downstairs to the Supreme Court chamber would likely be a mere delaying tactic, at the end of which the Justices would rule unanimously that the Legislature is the sole judge of the qualifications of its members.
Jackley’s decision to defend Langer is interesting. Langer replaced Senator R. Blake Curd as majority leader in the 2019 Session in what looked like a sop to new Governor Kristi Noem after Curd had backed Jackley for Governor. Perhaps Jackley simply believes in everyone’s right to a fair hearing… or maybe Jackley is riding in to help Langer save her job and to leave an IOU for a primary reboot to boot Kristi in 2022.