PREAMBLE:We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of South Dakota.
§ 1. Inherent rights. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting property and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
§ 2. Due process--Right to work. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union, or labor organization.
§ 3. Freedom of religion--Support of religion prohibited. The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or position on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse licentiousness, the invasion of the rights of others, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.
No person shall be compelled to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No money or property of the state shall be given or appropriated for the benefit of any sectarian or religious society or institution
§ 4. Right of petition and peaceable assembly. The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good and make known their opinions, shall never be abridged
§ 5. Freedom of speech--Truth as defense--Jury trial. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. In all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense. The jury shall have the right to determine the fact and the law under the direction of the court
§ 6. Jury trial--Reduced jury--Three-fourths vote. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate and shall extend to all cases at law without regard to the amount in controversy, but the Legislature may provide for a jury of less than twelve in any court not a court of record and for the decision of civil cases by three-fourths of the jury in any court
§ 7. Rights of accused. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have compulsory process served for obtaining witnesses in his behalf, and to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
§ 8. Right to bail--Habeas corpus. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when proof is evident or presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it
§ 9. Self-incrimination--Double jeopardy. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense
§ 10. Indictment or information--Modification or abolishment of grand jury. No person shall be held for a criminal offense unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, or information of the public prosecutor, except in cases of impeachment, in cases cognizable by county courts, by justices of the peace, and in cases arising in the army and navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger: provided, that the grand jury may be modified or abolished by law
§ 11. Search and seizure. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized
§ 12. Ex post facto laws--Impairment of contract obligations--Privilege or immunity. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts or making any irrevocable grant of privilege, franchise or immunity, shall be passed
§ 13. Private property not taken without just compensation--Benefit to owner--Fee in highways. Private property shall not be taken for public use, or damaged, without just compensation, which will be determined according to legal procedure established by the Legislature and according to § 6 of this article. No benefit which may accrue to the owner as the result of an improvement made by any private corporation shall be considered in fixing the compensation for property taken or damaged. The fee of land taken for railroad tracks or other highways shall remain in such owners, subject to the use for which it is taken.
§ 14. Resident aliens' property rights. No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident aliens and citizens, in reference to the possession, enjoyment or descent of property
§ 15. Imprisonment for debt. No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of or founded upon a contract
§ 16. Military subordinate to civil power--Quartering of soldiers. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power. No soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house without consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law
§ 17. Taxation without consent--Uniformity. No tax or duty shall be imposed without the consent of the people or their representatives in the Legislature, and all taxation shall be equal and uniform
§ 18. Equal privileges or immunities. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens or corporation, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations
§ 19. Free and equal elections--Right of suffrage--Soldier voting. Elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage. Soldiers in time of war may vote at their post of duty in or out of the state, under regulations to be prescribed by the Legislature
§ 20. Courts open--Remedy for injury. All courts shall be open, and every man for an injury done him in his property, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice, administered without denial or delay
§ 21. Suspension of laws prohibited. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the Legislature or its authority
§ 22. Attainder by Legislature prohibited. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the Legislature
§ 23. Excessive bail or fines--Cruel punishments. Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted
§ 24. Right to bear arms. The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied
§ 25. Treason. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, or in giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or confession in open court
§ 26. Power inherent in people--Alteration in form of government--Inseparable part of Union. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free government is founded on their authority, and is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right in lawful and constituted methods to alter or reform their forms of government in such manner as they may think proper. And the state of South Dakota is an inseparable part of the American Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land
§ 27. Maintenance of free government--Fundamental principles. The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles