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January 20th, 1944 – On This Day In Sioux Falls History, we say Happy Birthday to one of the most distinguished law practitioner in the history of the State of South Dakota, Judith Meierhenry!!! Certainly the highest honor for any lawyer/judge to aspire to is to be appointed to the Supreme Court, not only did Meierhenry achieve such a lofty goal, she broke barriers in the process; becoming the first female Supreme Court Justice in South Dakota history!

Between the years of 1966 and 1977 Mrs. Meierhenry received her Bachelors of Science, Masters (English), and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where she would also beginning practicing law. In 1979 she would leave her practice to take on a steady stream of public service posts including, a stint in the State Economic Opportunity Office, State Secretary of Labor, and State Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs. From 1985 through 1988 she served as assistant general counsel for Citibank right here in Sioux Falls!

In 1988 Meierhenry would be appointed as a judge of the Second Circuit Court moving to the presiding judge of the second circuit in 1997. Gov. Janklow appointed her to the South Dakota Supreme Court in November of 2002. She continued to serve until June 2011.