South Dakota Sen. Frye-Mueller drops federal lawsuit

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:25 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller (R-Rapid City) voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit against President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown) Thursday.

Wednesday, the Senate voted 33 to 1 to reinstate Sen. Frye-Mueller but also censured her and restricted her access to Legislative Research Council staff, interns, and pages.

Her suspension last week arose from a conversation about breastfeeding and vaccinations with an LRC staffer who is a new mother.

The staffer filed a complaint last week, and Republican Senate leadership immediately suspended Sen. Frye-Mueller pending hearings by the Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion.

In the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Pierre, Sen. Frye-Mueller alleged that her First Amendment and Due Process rights were violated and the rights of her District 30 constituents were violated by the suspension.

An email to Sen. Frye-Mueller’s attorney, former House Speaker Steve Haugaard, seeking comment has gone unanswered as of Thursday afternoon.