Press "Enter" to skip to content

HB 1134: Rep. Kaiser Rectifies Loophole That Allowed State to Harass Taliaferro

You know, for being a conservative verging on Libertarian, Rep. Dan Kaiser (R-3/Aberdeen) sure likes proposing laws. He's prime sponsor of seven bills in the hopper so far (and he has until Tuesday to come up with more!). But sometimes you've got to pass laws to protect liberty.

One of Rep. Kaiser's bills, House Bill 1134, rights a wrong discussed on this blog and highlighted by the South Dakota Supreme Court last fall. HB 1134 would remove the clause under which Beadle County state's attorney Michael Moore and Attorney General Marty Jackley were able to punish attorney Brandon Taliaferro (pronounced /TOL - li - ver/) for challenging abuses of Native American children in the foster care system. The state presented no evidence that Taliaferro had committed any of the crimes for which it arrested him, but one niggling statute allowed prosecutor Moore to block Taliaferro's request to expunge the arrest record and allow him to practice law and go about his business without further impact from the bogus charges Moore brought. The South Dakota Supreme Court recognized Moore's action unjustly harmed Taliaferro but said the law is the law and dismissed Taliaferro's effort to win expungement.

Rep. Kaiser now seeks to erase prosecutors' authority to block expungement of arrests. As Bob Mercer points out, Rep. Kaiser has the backing of some legal heavy-hitters:

Kaiser is a policeman and his record in the Legislature has tended to be one of protecting people’s personal liberties. His co-sponsors include two retired circuit judges, Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, and Sen. Arthur Rusch, R-Vermillion, and two private attorneys, Rep. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, and Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls [Bob Mercer, "Supreme Court: 'We Recognize This Is a Harsh Result'," Pure Pierre Politics, 2015.01.29].

As always, Mercer chooses his words carefully, but he appears to agree that the state treated Taliaferro poorly and that those poor treaters deserve some scrutiny:

The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee; a hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet. The Tailaferro indictment looked, from the outside, to have been a strange chapter in law enforcement in South Dakota. Now the matter and the actions of the various sides will receive further light, to a degree they previously hadn’t, before the Legislature [Mercer, 2015.01.29].

HB 1134 won't restore Taliaferro, but it will protect innocent citizens like him from future abuses of prosecutorial power. Stay tuned for the House Judiciary hearing: we'll see if Attorney General Marty Jackley can defend this prosecutorial veto power over the expungement of their own erroneous persecutions before the Legislature the way he did before the Supreme Court.


  1. mike from iowa 2015.01.29

    BT needs a super ass-kissing apology,a substantial legal settlement and the heads of Jackley and others on a platter for his pains. This bill needs to include the offended party or it doesn't do enough good,imho.

  2. tara volesky 2015.01.29

    You poked the bear Brandon.

  3. Wayne B. 2015.01.29


    Why won't HB 1134 restore Taliaferro? If the bill becomes law, he could then seek redress again to expunge those records, couldn't he?

  4. Shirley Schwab 2015.01.29

    I think Bob Mercer's last paragraph speaks volumes.

    "The Taliaferro indictment looked, from the outside, to have been a strange chapter in law enforcement in South Dakota."

  5. Bob Newland 2015.01.29

    It appears to me that Wayne B. is right. I surely hope so.

    Incidentally, I just heard that prick Michael Moore (the SoDak one) on the radio this morning. He's still out there attempting to ruin lives.

  6. David Newquist 2015.01.29

    In his letter from Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King wrote of a matter that is pertinent to us all:

    'One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all.”'

    The South Dakota Codified Laws are infested with unjust laws and many that are just inanely stupid and punitive. One wonders if members of the bar are aware of them or if they care. The SDCL needs a thorough review and purging of bad laws, and inclusion of some freedom of information measures and laws against the use of prosecutorial powers for petty, vindictive, and false charges, as in the Taliaferro-Schwab case. When lawyers from other states snicker and chortle at the SDCL, one would think that the surfeit of lawyers in the state would include some talent that would propose corrective actions.

  7. Eric 2015.01.29

    Rep. Kaiser also needs to amend the phrase "entire criminal case" to "charge or charges". The SD Supreme Court focused on that too because the charges that were dismissed by the State were only some of the charges and not the entire case.

  8. tara volesky 2015.01.29

    Bob Newland, Beadle County States Attorney Michael Moore is a Democrat. WTH.

  9. Shirley Schwab 2015.01.29

    And that would make him any less incompetent and corrupt?

  10. Elizabeth Head 2015.01.29

    I can't help but shake my head. How sad it is when such an outstanding human being, doing right by society, is being overrun by absolute scum who wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Their time will come, until then Brandon keep fighting. We love you!

  11. Shirley schwab 2015.01.29


    The fact Brandon is still fighting today for what is right, he continues to exemplify all that is good in a human being.

    He is a talented, respected and ethical professional and that can never be taken from him.

  12. Bob Newland 2015.01.29

    If any of us had tried to do what the State of South Dakota tried to do to Brandon Taliaferro and Shirley Schwab, we would (and should) be in prison for a life-changing amount of time.

    If you're not familiar with the case--and you may not want to be, given the terror factor it should produce in you--then go to this website:

    Then go to this website. It contains, specifically, the transcript of a phone conversation between DCI agents that you need to read.

  13. Elizabeth Head 2015.01.29

    I agree with you Shirley! He's always been a hardworking, diligent individual. I hate that there are so many miles between us, however he's my big brother and I am so proud of him!

  14. Shirley schwab 2015.01.29

    Bob and all,

    Please go to our website where you will find many documents, transcripts, audios, and various information to assist with learning what you can about the Schwab - Taliaferro malicious prosecution.

    Also, please be watching for additional documents and recordings to be posted on the website in the near future that are sure to blow your mind.

    The rest of the story is about to be told and you won't want to miss it.

  15. Shirley Schwab 2015.01.29

    Bob referenced the 'terror factor' regarding our case.

    Imagine the following on the evening of November 7, 2011:

    (Former) DCI Agent Mark Black had just finished an execution of search warrant on the home of Shirley Schwab where she resided alone.

    Upon leaving Schwab's home, Black told Schwab the Attorney General himself said that unless there was a homicide, this was his priority case. (Listen to the audio of Black's words on our website.)

    Due to the 'terror factor' of those words, Schwab was forced out of her home with the clothes on her back due to the fear and intimidation by the SD DCI for six weeks before she felt safe enough to return.

    Also, listen to the off-camera audio of Mark Black discussing his 'plan' for what he had in mind for Shirley and Brandon.

Comments are closed.