Federal judge denies Sen. Frye-Mueller’s motion to stop proceedings against her

Senator Committee Assignments

South Dakota Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller speaks in a Senate session, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in Pierre, S.D.. She was suspended from holding lawmaking power while the Senate investigates an exchange she had with a legislative aide over vaccines. (AP Photo/Amancai Biraben)

PIERRE, S.D. — A federal judge on Tuesday denied Republican Senator Julie Frye-Mueller’s motion to pause the pending disciplinary proceedings against her.

Judge Roberto Lange ruled that the relief she was actually asking for was a restraining order without notice to Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck.

“Schoenbeck’s whereabouts at this time of year are well-known; he is here in Pierre serving in the State Senate as president pro tem,” Judge Lange noted. “This Court wants to hear from both sides before issuing a substantive order and thus prefers transforming this injunction request from an ex parte request for a temporary restraining order to a preliminary injunction hearing.”

Judge Lange said there was no indication that Sen. Frye-Mueller’s attorney, former Rep. Steven Haugaard, had attempted to notify Schoenbeck that Frye-Mueller was seeking judicial relief.

Judge Lange ordered Haugaard to email a copy of the pleadings to Sen. Schoenbeck and for them to schedule a hearing on the preliminary injunction on Feb. 7 or Feb. 10.

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