Emily’s Weekly Political Scoop: South Dakota’s New Bill and News of George Floyd’s Trial


Emily Landolfi, Staff Writer

Honestly, everything in the world has been majorly confusing, and it’s 100% understandable if you are not caught up with the latest. I will be touching upon heavy subject matters in this article; however, they are extremely important to recognize and take note of. 

According to NPR, the South Dakota state Senate has passed a bill on Monday not allowing trasngender women athletes to compete on high school and college women’s teams. The Governor, Kristi Noem, will receive and sign this bill. One of the primary sponsors of the legislation, State Senator Maggie Suton, stated, “This is a very simple bill. It’s a bill to protect women’s sports. It’s not against transgenders” (Strubinger). There has been a lot of response form the opposer of the bill. State Senator Reynold Nesiba responded saying, “To me, it looks an awful lot like bullying,” and ACLU spokesperson, Janna Farley, has expressed her concerns, saying, “We don’t need to have discrimination like this codified into law” (Strubinger). Additionally, State Senator Lee Schoenbeck expressed his concerns based on the amount of paperwork that will be created and how no Republican runs for office in order to grow government oversight (Strubinger).  

Overall, the legistional requires the collection of written waivers stating each student’s “reproductive biology” in schools and athletic associations. 40,000 students competing in sports have already criticized the bill, stating that it violates Title 7 and Title 9 of the Civil Rights Bill since it is discriminating against people based on sex. The state is one of 20 who have considered these types of measures (Strubinger). 

The killing of George Floyd in May of 2020 sparked outrage and protests, demanding justice for him and other black people who have died at the hands of racism. After 10 months, BBC reports that the first jurors have been picked in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The article states, “Mr Chauvin, 44, is accused of second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter in the death of Mr Floyd on 25 May last year” (George Floyd: First Jurors for Derek Chauvin Trial Chosen). The charge of third-degree muruder, a less severe charge, proposed last year was dismissed; however, prosecutors have been asking to reinstate it. As of right now, he will receive a maximum sentence of 40 years, and although there has been dispute over the additional charge, Judge Peter Chaill continued on with the jury-selection (George Floyd: First Jurors for Derek Chauvin Trial Chosen). 

On Tuesday, three jurors were selected. The first is a man, a white chemist in his 20s or 30s who has stated he is logical and passionate and has not watched the video of Floyd’s death. The second is a woman in her 20s, appearing to be of mixed race, who has stated she has watched the video once and is ready to hear all of the evidence. The third and last juror chosen on tuesday is a man, a white auditioner stating he will determine whether Chauvin is guilty or innocent based on the evidence presented in trial (George Floyd: First Jurors for Derek Chauvin Trial Chosen). The search for more jurors continues on Wednesday. 

These are some heavy subject matters, but I’m hoping you have a better understanding of why these are important and how we will see the effects of these laws and injustices in the future.

Works Cited 

BBC News. “George Floyd: First Jurors for Derek Chauvin Trial Chosen.” BBC News, 10 Mar. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56341895.

Strubinger, Lee. “South Dakota Passes Bill Restricting Transgender Girls From Sports Teams Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email.” NPR, 8 Mar. 2021, www.npr.org/2021/03/08/975002036/south-dakota-passes-bill-restricting-transgender-girls-from-sports-teams.