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Part Two The South Dakota Constitution and Commentary, Art.XV Militia

From: The South Dakota State Constitution

Patrick M. Garry

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 07 June 2023

(p. 231) Article XV  Militia

A proposed repeal of this article was rejected by the voters on November 5, 1974. A similar repeal was also rejected on November 2, 1976. With a few exceptions, the basic substance of Sections 2 through 5 of the present Article XV would have been incorporated into Section 15 of a new Article III. The substance of present Sections 1, 6, and 7 of Article XV would have been repealed outright.

Related provisions in the federal Constitution are found in the Second and Third Amendments.

Section 1  Composition of Militia

The militia of the state of South Dakota shall consist of all able-bodied male persons residing in the state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such persons as now are, or hereafter may be, exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state.

As stated above, the proposed repeal of this section was rejected on November 5, 1974, and again on November 2, 1976. This same statement can be made of all the following sections in this article.(p. 232)

Section 2  Legislative Provisions for Militia

The Legislature shall provide by law for the enrollment, uniforming, equipment and discipline of the militia and the establishment of volunteer and such other organizations or both, as may be deemed necessary for the protection of the state, the preservation of order and the efficiency and good of the service.

Section 3  Conformity to Federal Regulations

The Legislature in providing for the organization of the militia shall conform, as nearly as practicable, to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States.

Section 4  Commissions of Officers of Militia

All militia officers shall be commissioned by the Governor, and may hold their commissions for such period of time as the Legislature may provide, subject to removal by the Governor for cause, to be first ascertained by a court-martial pursuant to law.

Section 5  Militia Privileged from Arrest

The militia shall in cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at muster and elections and in going to and returning from the same.

Section 6  Safekeeping of Military Records and Relics

All military records, banners and relics of the state, except when in lawful use, shall be preserved in the office of the adjutant general as an enduring memorial of the patriotism and valor of South Dakota; and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to provide by law for the safekeeping of the same.

Section 7  Conscientious Objectors

No person having conscientious scruples against bearing arms shall be compelled to do military duty in time of peace.