Few could have fathomed the enormous upheaval placing J.A.I.L. on the ballot could have caused. It is shaking and awaking the entire nation beyond comprehension. Industries and businesses spend untold millions of dollars for a chance to gain the eyes of the beholder if but for a few seconds of prime-time TV. Advertisement is very expensive, and often absorbs up to 25% or more of every company's budget in order to induce you to buy their services or trinkets.
Along comes a straight-forward Initiative called J.A.I.L. that simply "No immunity shall extend to any judge of this State for any deliberate violation of law, fraud or conspiracy, intentional violation of due process of law, deliberate disregard of material facts, judicial acts without jurisdiction, blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case, or any deliberate violation of the Constitutions of South Dakota or the United States, notwithstanding Common Law, or any other contrary statute," and the earth quivers below the feet of every bureaucrat.
There are only seven points described above, all of them dealing only with judges, and easy to be understood. These seven factors compose the heart and soul of Amendment E. All else merely sets forth the when, where, how, who, and why.
Taking it face value for what J.A.I.L. says, and the uproar it is causing, one would think that if judges could not deliberately violate the law, commit fraud and conspiracy, intentionally violate due process of law, or deliberately disregard obvious truth, etc., the entire system will come unraveled and fly apart like an airplane in flight. Remember the childhood story read to you of Chicken Little, and the sky is falling?
Indeed it is implied that if We the People enforced judges to abide by their sworn oaths of office, it will create big-time anarchy, to wit, "Anarchy can be expected if it is passed by the people of South Dakota," Rep. Tom Hennies.
Further, these bureaucrats are saying, "We will be the laughingstock of the country if it passes." Perhaps these legislators may not be far off according to recent polls that show distrust and skepticism of legislators running high. One past poll compared legislators to that used car salesmen.
For those of us People advancing J.A.I.L., the climate has never been better. It has improved immensely over the last few years. A couple years ago a non-south Dakotan state senator, chairman over the Senate Judiciary Committee, called us "Anger-Driven Assholes." But the tide appears to be turning, revealing who are the real ADA's.
One thing that is admitted by both sides of this controversy is "This has taken on national attention." And what do they propose as the cure to this "problem" of proposed judicial accountability? Here is what they say, "We have to send a strong message ... the system is working well." We say, "Good luck," as there seems to be more and more people who are convinced that the system is not working well, and is in fact fatally flawed.
Newspapers across this land are advertising for J.A.I.L. in one fashion or another. Some of states newspapers that have recently promoted J.A.I.L. in the last few months by its articles are; Kansas, Missouri, Texas, California, Oregon, Idaho, Iowa, New York, and even Canada. There are more, and they are still coming. It is anticipated to come at an even greater pace as we near November 7th. And guess what? All this advertisement is free! Yes, that's right, free! And I haven't even mentioned the numerous radio programs coming our way. Soon we will be appearing on TV.
Many political and patriot organizations around the nation have consistently sought to gain the publics attention for their agendas, and some at a great price. The publicity for J.A.I.L. is freely flowing to us nationwide as if water over a fall. Do these bureaucrats really think they can defeat all this wealth of publicity for J.A.I.L. by banning together and giving J.A.I.L. more publicity? But that's exactly what they are doing. The are trying to put out a fire using gasoline.
Stay tuned, we have some interesting public debates with these legislators coming up real soon over this "ridiculous" call for judicial accountability as set forth in Amendment E. -Ron Branson
JAIL Initiative Panned
PIERRE - An unlikely coalition of the state's top political operatives, business and labor leaders and most of South Dakota's state lawmakers joined Wednesday to fight a controversial 2006 ballot initiative that would allow people to sue judges.
"Anarchy can be expected if it is passed by the people of South Dakota," Rep. Tom Hennies, R-Rapid City, told members of the Legislature's House State Affairs committee. He warned that the proposal would extend far beyond judges.
The committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, or JAIL, which will appear as Amendment E on the 2006 ballot.
"This has taken on national attention," Chuck Schroyer, executive director of the South Dakota State's Attorney's Association, said of the JAIL initiative. "We will be the laughingstock of the country if it passes."
A string of speakers representing 17 organizations spoke in favor of the resolution. Their quest was supported after the meeting during a news conference held by South Dakota Democratic Party chairwoman Judy Olson Duhamel and state Republican Party chairman Randy Frederick.
"It's outrageous," Duhamel said of Amendment E.
"South Dakota need not be California's lab rats," Frederick said, referring to the California-based organizers of the petition drive that led to the proposal being placed on the ballot.
Hennies and others said that the JAIL amendment extends to every elected position in South Dakota and to volunteer boards and organizations that are connected to or are overseen by the government. He said people who have been aggrieved by the decisions of any of those entities would have six months to file a complaint with a "super grand jury" that would be established under the proposed amendment.
"Can you imagine the attitude of the prisoners in the state penitentiary when they have six months to file?" Hennies asked.
Mark Marshall, former chairman of the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles, said its members "would be stripped from immunity involving parole decisions for murderers, rapists and child molesters."
"They would become the most litigious members of our society," Marshall said. "We have to send a strong message that criminals have adequate protection for their rights and the system is working well."
He said that parole board members, like those of other boards and commissions, are volunteers who are trying to make a contribution. Amendment E would stop people from serving, he said.
"I, for one, am unwilling to continue to serve if I am going to be exposed to that kind of liability for doing a public service," he said.
Paul Alyard of the South Dakota AFL-CIO and Dave Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, appeared together to speak in favor of the resolution opposing Amendment E.
"Somebody take a picture," someone commented to laughter from the audience.
Alyard said many of the members of his organization serve on local boards and committees.
"They should not be in jeopardy because they want to perform a civic duty," he said.
"The free market needs the rule of law, and the rule of law depends on an independent judiciary based on precedent and codified law," Owen said.
Ninety-two of the Legislature's 105 members have signed on to the resolution opposing Amendment E. The aim is to let the public know what Amendment E is about and to urge voters to defeat it, lawmakers said.
"We are not talking about a constitutional amendment. We are talking about a constitutional replacement," Rep. Joel Dykstra, R-Canton, said. "Not only will every level of government, volunteers and elected officials be in jeopardy, they would be absent. Nobody would serve our state."
Rep. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, and Tom Barnett, executive director of the South Dakota Bar Association and an opponent of Amendment E, said the organizers of the JAIL petition drive were notified of Wednesday's meeting.
Contacted later Wednesday, Bill Stegmeier, who heads the South Dakota drive, said he did not know about it.
On the Web: To read the text of Amendment E, go to the South Dakota Secretary of State Web site at http://www.sdsos.gov.
Contact Celeste Calvitto at 394-8438 or firstname.lastname@example.org