Governor Dennis Daugaard issued the following statement on the death of South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Steven L. Zinter:
“Linda and I were shocked to hear this news. Justice Zinter was a towering figure in South Dakota law and a consummate public servant. He overcame his disability to reach the pinnacle of his profession and he was a role model and inspiration to many,” said the Governor. “On behalf of all South Dakotans, we extend our deepest sympathies to Sandy, Kelly, Sarah, and to the entire Zinter family.”
The Governor has ordered that flags across South Dakota fly at half-staff immediately and until Justice Zinter’s interment, which is at a date to be determined.
Steven L. Zinter was the 45th justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court. He was appointed to the Court by Governor Bill Janklow in 2002. Prior to that, he had served as a circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit from 1987 to 2002, including five years as the circuit’s presiding judge, and from 1980-86 as Hughes County State’s Attorney. Justice Zinter and his wife, Sandy, had two daughters and five grandchildren.
Justice Zinter’s death is the first by a sitting justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court since the death of Justice James M. Doyle in 1976.