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Judge Severson Appointed To Supreme Court

February 26, 2009, 4:55 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Judge Severson Appointed To Supreme Court
The search is over. South Dakota will soon have a new Supreme Court justice. 

Governor Mike Rounds announced Judge Glen Severson is moving to the state's highest court. 

Judge Glen Severson currently presides over the Second Judiciary Circuit, which consists of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties. Thursday, Governor Mike Rounds announced Severson as his choice to replace the retiring Justice Richard Sabers. And Judge Severson says the appointment is a bit overwhelming. 

Judge Severson has been the presiding judge of the Second Judicial Circuit since 2002. With the appointment, that will soon change. 

“It's a great honor. It's just starting to sink in," Judge Severson said. 

Judge Severson isn't a stranger to the South Dakota Supreme Court. He's filled in when justices have removed themselves from a case.  It's that experience the Governor says makes Severson the most qualified candidate for the job. 

"I'm very humbled because I know all the other candidates, and they're very highly qualified good people. So, I'm really humbled by the fact that he chose me instead of a number of the others that he could have," said Judge Severson. 

Growing up east of Sioux Falls, or while in law school at the University of South Dakota, Severson never imagined he'd one day be appointed to the state's highest court.  But he says he's now ready for the transition. 

"The Supreme Court is different. It's dealing with a record and applying the constitution and the laws to the cases that come up. So it's the same but it's different,” Judge Severson said. 

Judge Severson learned of the Governor's appointment at about 10:30 Thursday morning, just a half hour before the Governor made the announcement. He says he now needs to talk with the other Supreme Court Justices, his family and the circuit court staff about his transition to the high court. He expects the changeover to take a month or two.

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