South Dakota voters yesterday rejected soundly a constitutional amendment that opponents said would create chaos in the state's courthouses and local government, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. With 637 of the 818 precincts reporting, Amendment E was failing with 90 percent opposing it and 10 percent supporting it. It would have let people seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against judges and other government officials they believe have violated their rights.
Supporters said it would have applied only to judges. Opponents said it would include members of other entities because those officials sometimes make decisions of a judicial nature. The measure would have set up special 13-member grand juries, selected at random from registered voters or volunteers, to hear complaints and decide whether judges and other officials could be sued or prosecuted.