Three South Dakota Judges dismiss Noem’s airplane use complaint because they don’t know how to use Google

How many judges does it take to get rid of a complaint towards the governor?

I find it hysterical that three supposed well educated judges in our state don’t know the definition of ‘state business

The state Government Accountability Board dismissed a complaint Tuesday regarding Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of state aircraft, citing no sufficient legal definition of “state business.” 

Isn’t law prickly? Judges conveniently throw out a complaint saying a law doesn’t exist. So if that is true, how do thousands of state employees show up to work each day and know what to do if a legal definition of state business doesn’t exist?

Game wardens could argue fishing all day with a state patrol boat is ‘state business’. Or a highway patrol officer could give UBER rides during their down time. Why not? There is NO definition of state business. And do you trust this legislature to fix it? They are still trying to figure out what the definition of ‘elected representative’ means.

When out legislative process fails we go to the judicial branch for clarity. Senator Nesiba points that out;

In October, Nesiba said the current law allows the attorney general or a state’s attorney discretion to look at “state business” and what it means. 

I guess these judges are struggling with defining the state’s legal definition of ‘state business’

Noem has faced scrutiny for a number of her uses of state aircraft, including flights from Custer and back again during the weekend of her daughter’s 2019 wedding at Custer State Park. Noem has also used a state airplane to attend several political functions in other states.

If you do a five second Google search you will find this handy piece of information;

Official state business or “state business” means any activity conducted in conformance to these rules and directed and controlled by a state agency to advance the lawful policies and purposes of the agency.

I don’t have a fancy law degree or a judgeship under my belt, but I am pretty sure flying your nephew to your Daughter’s Jewish Gun Rights CPAC Wedding extravaganza isn’t the definition of ‘state business’. Maybe if the 4th judge decided not to recuse themself the 4 of them could have took turns typing the definition into the Google search engine?


#1 D@ily Spin on 12.20.22 at 6:35 pm

Why does she even need a plane? She has a broom and her monkeys fly.

#2 Observer on 12.20.22 at 9:05 pm

So how can the use of Tiktok on state devices be banned by the Governor?

#3 Very Stable Genius on 12.21.22 at 10:06 am

It was quite the week, wasn’t it? A former partisan judge, who nixed IM 22, is now back in a partisan position with the AG’s office, and then some retired judges don’t know what “state business” means.

( and Woodstock adds: “Say, is it any of the states business when it comes to someone’s daughter’s wedding, or attending a partisan event?”….. (… “AND, What about murder?”…. “Does murder need to be defined by the state legislature, or is murder, murder?”…. )

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.21.22 at 12:24 pm

That’s a good point about the word “murder”…. Because what did the state legislature mean when it put that word in the state statutes?… Because I was at a comedy shop the other night, and I just sat back with amazement as a local comedian just murdered it….

#5 Further Fear & Loathing on 12.21.22 at 12:49 pm

– State business.

– None of your business.

– Whose business is it?

– He’s very business like.

– Private business.

– Public business.

– Business minded.

– Pro-business.

– Anti-business.

– Business opportunity.

– Stick to your own business.

– Business plan.

– Business model.

– Business oriented.

– Profession business.

– Conducting business.

– Businessman

– Businesswoman

– Businesslike.

– Business expansion.

– Business School.

– Small business.

– Big business.

– Business card.

– Business growth.

– Business building.

– New business.

– Old business.

– Running a business.

– Bad business.

– Predatory business.

– Business ethics.

– Commercial business.

– Retail business.

– Fast food business.

– Master of Business Administration.

– Quasi public/private business.

– Business mission statement.

– Business success.

– Business failure.

– Business to business.

– Pro business state, which is not to be confused with
state business… Although, often they are one in the
same… 🙂

Yep, there’re a lot of businesses out there, but I think I know state business when I see it….

#6 "Woodstock" on 12.21.22 at 12:53 pm

“Say, do we know what the true definition of ‘state devices’ is?”…… “AND, can the state conceivably make such a device or only private business?”….

#7 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 12.21.22 at 12:55 pm

Wasn’t it Shakespeare who wanted to kill all of the lawyers first?… (I guess a comedian could “kill” it, too… )

#8 Very Stable Genius on 12.21.22 at 1:13 pm

It’s quite the banana republic around here, isn’t it? Our own state Supreme Court can enforce Amendment Z against Amendment C without the legislature enacting enforcement measures to buttress Z, but meanwhile some retired judges (Who probably once had state Supreme Court aspirations.) can’t define “state business” without the help of the state legislature.

Conservatives often criticize judicial activism, but in this state, they seem to turn this judicial (political) remedy on-and-off at their convenience.

( and Woodstock adds: “You know, I’ve always enjoyed the word ‘buttress'”…. “AND, did you know that right now, Notre Dame is being held-up by some re-enforced buttresses?”… (…. “Come to think of it , I should go into the buttress business”…. “Maybe I could sell some cornices, balustrades, and parapets, too…. 🙂 ))

#9 Sick of Fearing on 12.21.22 at 1:18 pm

I once knew a dame from up north, who had quite the buttress. It held her constitution up quite well… Her home’s constitution, that is….

#10 FF&L on 12.21.22 at 4:15 pm

– Start-up business.


#11 VSG on 12.21.22 at 4:28 pm

I think the overall irony of two retired judges not knowing what the definition of state business is, was the fact that by blurring the line between state and private business or interests, that then wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, such a blurring be quite offensive to most conservative businessmen (Republicans) in this state who tend to run this state and promote limited government? Or, does the often blurred line between state and corporate, in this state, for the sake of a positive business climate, cause such businessman to have to live, profit, and suffer with a dichotomy that if they haven’t created themselves, they are definitely sharing in the wealth of, and are thus tolerant of this dual reality…. So, no wonder – out of fairness – the definition is then so hard for some in our fine state…. Perhaps, I should stick to my own business…

( and Woodstock adds: “Say, did someone say something about a ‘Dua Reality’…? #YahBaby! )

#12 Fear Not! on 12.21.22 at 4:56 pm

The late Justice Potter Stewart once claimed he couldn’t describe pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. Which is a lot like this decision by the two retired judges, where something appears dirty, even if there isn’t a definition.

#13 The state judges judges on 12.23.22 at 8:41 am

Once again we see the pathetic brain power of our state judges who gained their lofty positions through special favors to get the criminal activity of their appointer hidden.

This ruling of the ethics board shows we the people should never allow a judge retired or not to judge ethics. Information and exhibits presented to an ethics panel do not meet the same demands of a trial. There is no evidentiary standard or penalties for half truths often submitted. The judges then rule on evidence instead of Potter Stewart’s famous words. Law is the minimum bar to keep yourself out of jail or fined, ethics is the lofty high goal we should all try to attain.

#14 Warren Phear on 12.23.22 at 10:02 am

Three SD retired judges walk into a busy bar….
….the patrons get up and leave.