PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — An Assistant U.S. Attorney is being appointed to the state’s 2nd Circuit Court.
Governor Kristi Noem says she has selected Jennifer Mammenga to serve as a judge. She will succeed Joni Clark, who announced earlier this year she was retiring as a circuit judge.
“I am honored to accept Governor Noem’s appointment and I look forward to serving the people of South Dakota in this role,” Mammenga said in a news release.
Mammenga has been with the District of South Dakota United States Attorney’s Office since 2016, where she serves as the district’s Opioid Coordinator.
The Sioux Falls native was named the Midwest High Intensity Drug Task Force Outstanding Prosecutor in 2015.
Noem, the first woman elected as governor of South Dakota, has now appointed five women and three men as circuit judges since taking office in 2019 and has appointed one woman and one man as Supreme Court justices.
South Dakota currently has 44 circuit judges spread among seven circuits and five Supreme Court justices.
Lawyers on the state Judicial Qualifications Commission screen applicants for judicial vacancies and submit at least two candidates to the governor, who can choose from that list or ask for a new group.
Of the current 44 judges, 26 are men and 18 are women. The five Supreme Court justices are split between three men and two women.