PIERRE — Gov. Kristi Noem announced Wednesday that she will appoint Scott Myren to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Myren, who has been a Fifth Circuit Judge since 2004 and the circuit’s presiding judge since 2013, will represent the Fifth Supreme Court District. He will be the 53rd justice in the court’s history.

“Judge Myren is a highly-qualified, senior jurist who respects the separation of powers and the role of a judge to interpret the law as written,” Noem said in a statement. “He will be an excellent addition to the South Dakota Supreme Court.”

Myren is Noem's second appointment to the five-person bench, joining Patricia DeVaney, who was appointed in April 2019. Once Myren joins the court, all five justices will have been appointed since 2015 by either Noem or her predecessor Dennis Daugaard.

A native of Mound City, Myren earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 1985 and graduated from Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, New Jersey in 1988. Following law school, Myren entered the private practice of law in Denver, Colorado. Myren returned to South Dakota to serve as the South Dakota Supreme Court’s permanent staff attorney in 1990.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

In 1994, Myren was appointed by Gov. Walter Dale Miller as an administrative law judge, then served as a Fifth Circuit Magistrate Judge from 1999-2003. Gov. Mike Rounds appointed Myren as a circuit judge in 2004, and he was reelected without opposition in 2006 and 2014. Myren is also a past president of the South Dakota Judges Association.

Myren will succeed Chief Justice David Gilbertson as a justice of the Supreme Court when Gilbertson retires in January 2021 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Earlier this year, the court selected Justice Steven Jensen as Gilbertson's successor as chief justice.

“I am humbled and honored by the confidence Governor Noem has placed in me with this appointment,” Myren said. “No one will ever replace Chief Justice David Gilbertson. I will try my hardest every day to live up to his legacy.”

The state’s Fifth Supreme Court District includes the geographical northern-third of South Dakota, consisting of Brown, Butte, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Corson, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Hamlin, Harding, Marshall, McPherson, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Walworth, and Ziebach counties.