On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that a federal judge in South Dakota slammed Republican Gov. Kristi Noem in an order directing a state court to stop delaying a defendant's trial.
The state court had argued the trial needed to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Judge Charles Kornmann pointed out that the state's pandemic response has been far too incompetent and disengaged for them to use it as an excuse to deprive people of their Sixth Amendment right to a speedy and public trial.
"South Dakota has done little, if anything, to curtail the spread of the virus," wrote Kornmann, adding of Noem specifically, "Her example significantly encourages South Dakotans to not wear masks ... South Dakota is now a very dangerous place in which to live due to the spread of COVID-19."
Noem has proudly boasted that her state will not infringe on residents' liberty with public health restrictions, even as her state reports over 500 new cases a day and a test positivity rate of 42.3 percent — one of the worst rates in the nation. She has frequently preoccupied herself with other matters, including a trip to Georgia to campaign for Republicans in the Senate runoff.