by Karl Kurtz
I love the rituals of legislatures. Here's a nice one from an AP story about adjournment of the South Dakota Legislature on Monday this week:
Does any other legislature have this same tradition of banging gavels simultaneously in the house and senate? In our conversations about this around the office, we can't think of many capitols where the presiding officers of the house and senate can easily see each other, even with doors open, either because of a lack of line of sight or distance. What about Montana, whose capitol has a very similar floor plan to that of South Dakota?
4/1 update: Be sure to see Dan Vock's comment below, which contains a link to a great story from 2008, "When sessions end, gavels and hankies fall," from Stateline.org about end of session rituals. I had seen the story at the time (in fact, Meagan Dorsch wrote about it in The Thicket) but had forgotten about it.
South Dakota dome photo credit: Eric Oxendorf