How possible Ravsnborg impeachment by the legislature would look

Local News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — We are getting a better idea of how South Dakota’s first impeachment proceedings will play out in Pierre. House Resolution 7001 calls for impeaching South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Today the Speaker of the House, Spencer Gosch of Glenham is proposing an amendment and laying out a proposal for impeachment proceedings.

Just a day after being read on the House floor, the speaker has proposed an amendment to House Resolution 7001. It would appoint to committee of 10 that will investigate whether the conduct of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg surrounding the death of Joe Boever involved impeachable offenses.

If the select committee recommends impeachment this is how the process would work.
House members would be looking at the state constitution which says:

“The Governor and other state and judicial officers…. shall be liable to impeachment for drunkenness, crimes, corrupt conduct, or malfeasance or misdemeanor in office”

If a simple majority of the house votes to impeach, the proceedings would then move on to the senate.

However the constitution also stipulates that the subject of the impeachment must be given 20 days notice before a trial could begin in the senate.

Also, if the House votes to impeach, Ravsnborg would be suspended until his acquittal.
The constitution says “No officer shall exercise the duties of his office after he shall have been impeached and before his acquittal.”

Once a trial begins, the senators would become jurors. The constitution says “The senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence.”

A Two thirds majority in the senate would be needed to convict and remove Ravnsborg from office as Attorney General.

Under the proposed amendment to House Resolution 7001, the select committee can subpoena both witnesses and documents. The committee will report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives by March 29th, 2021.

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