Ethics measure backers ask high court to let them join case

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Supporters of a voter-approved government ethics overhaul are asking the state Supreme Court to allow them to join a lawsuit challenging the initiative filed by Republican lawmakers.

South Dakotans for Integrity, a political committee that supported the initiative, is arguing that a lower court judge was wrong in denying their push to intervene in the case.

The judge in December issued an order blocking the entire law from taking effect while the court challenge moves forward.

The group can't appeal that order because they aren't intervenors. South Dakotans for Integrity says the majority of voters who enacted the measure have the right to be represented by advocates whose allegiance is "unquestionable."

Those bringing the lawsuit contend that provisions in the law are unconstitutional. The attorney general's office is defending it.

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