SD Municipal League lobbyist vs SD House Speaker dispute headed to federal court

A dispute between a lobbyist and the South Dakota Speaker of the House is now headed to court. 

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday claims that House Speaker Steven Haugaard (R-Dist 10, Sioux Falls) violated the civil rights of lobbyist Yvonne Taylor, the Executive Director of the South Dakota Municipal League.

Taylor was indefinitely banned from the floor of the House last week for having authored a League newsletter column in which she was critical of some lawmakers.  The column, which ran in May 2018, was used as the basis for removing Taylor from the floor in 2019.

The issue now is whether or not Speaker Haugaard has the authority to ban Taylor from the House floor.  Rapid City Attorney and former House Majority Leader David Lust has been retained by the Municipal League and taken up Taylor’s case.  He’s filed a motion in Federal Court to determine the issue.

Lusk is asking the court to issue an immediate injunction against Haugaard’s decision and to restore Taylor to the floor while the issue is litigated.