USD School of Law Announces Release of 'Judicial Voices Project' Website

Oral Histories from South Dakota's Highest Bench

The University of South Dakota School of Law and the South Dakota Supreme Court have created a website that provides written histories and video-recorded oral accounts of the state’s highest court. 

The site,, entitled “Judicial Voices Project: Capturing Histories of the South Dakota Supreme Court on its 125th Anniversary,” includes the most comprehensive research on the court ever done as well as a collections of video interviews with current justices,  some retirees and others familiar with the Supreme Court.

The effort was the product of conversations between Chief Justice David Gilbertson, the court’s historian, and John Glover, recent Bush Foundation Fellow and long-standing professor at Black Hills State University, who was at the time associate dean of the University of South Dakota School of Law.

“Similar approaches have taken place with other courts, although such recorded oral histories are far less frequently occurring than one might expect,” Glover said. "As the Chief Justice pointed out, the most notable example of such interviews involved the U.S. Supreme Court in a project through C-SPAN. Additional examples can be found involving the courts in a half a dozen states including California, Kentucky, New York, New Hampshire, Texas and regional neighbor Minnesota.”

Judicial Voices was initiated by a seed grant awarded by the South Dakota Humanities Council in the spring of 2014. Additional support and funding came from the USD School of Law and Dean Tom Geu, the Unified Judicial System, the South Dakota Bar Association and the Woods, Fuller, Schultz & Smith law firm in Sioux Falls. South Dakota Public Broadcasting provided technical assistance. The project team was managed by Native Educational Endeavors Inc., directed by Glover and included Chief Justice Gilbertson, Dean Geu, Richard Gregerson, Web specialists Beth Aaker and Annie Woodle, editors Prairey Walkling and recent USD law graduate and attorney Kelsea Kenzy Sutton, and videographer Shane Art

Questions, comments and additions can be sent to Glover at or (605) 580-0941.

Download a photo of John Glover and the justices


USD’s School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Michael Ewald
USD News