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Justice Meierhenry Discusses Life and Career on Credit Hour

Judith Meierhenry cutout portrait next to the Credit Hour podcast logo Former South Dakota Supreme Court Justice and USD Alumna Judith Meierhenry discussed her life and career on the Credit Hour Podcast.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Former South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Judith Meierhenry '66 B.A., '68 M.A., '77 J.D. discussed her life and career on the podcast Credit Hour.

“This year’s been hard. You don’t know things for sure. I think you have to live your life as well as you can wherever you are,” Meierhenry said. “Family first. If there’s anything I know for sure, it’s that.”

Meierhenry was appointed the secretary of South Dakota’s Department of Labor by Gov. Bill Janklow in 1980 and served as the state’s Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs in 1983. She was appointed a South Dakota Supreme Court Justice in 2002, becoming the first woman in South Dakota’s history to be appointed to the state Supreme Court, where she served until her retirement in 2011.

“It was a good experience,” said Meierhenry of attending law school at USD. “There wasn’t another time before or since where you feel like you are learning so much, and there is a joy in that.

“Once I got on the bench, I loved it every day. It really was a dream job for me,” Meierhenry said. “I don’t remember a day that I wasn’t looking forward to going to work.”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News