The proposal in the sparsely populated state of South Dakota would allow citizens to seek damages or criminal charges. If approved, such a measure would overturn more than a century of settled law in the United States by stripping judges of their absolute immunity from lawsuits over their judicial acts.

“The current system doesn’t work because there is no adequate way to hold a given judge accountable for proper behavior or to prevent them from judicial misconduct if they choose to do so,” said businessman William Stegmeier, a leader of the movement.