Current Status Bill Number:
192Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970116Primary Sponsor: HollandAll Sponsors: Holland, Giese and RoseDrafted Document Number: council\legis\bills\gjk\23206sd .97Companion Bill Number: 3063Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 11 SJSubject: Judges, qualifications; Judicial Merit Selection Commission, Courts, constitutional amendment
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19970204 Recommitted to Committee 11 SJ Senate 19970130 Committee report: Favorable 11 SJ Senate 19970116 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
January 30, 1997
S. Printed 1/30/97--S.
Read the first time January 16, 1997.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 192), ratifying an amendment to Section 15, Article V of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, relating to qualifications for justices, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:
THOMAS L. MOORE, for Committee.
RATIFYING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 15, ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO QUALIFICATIONS FOR JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE CIRCUIT COURT, SO AS TO INCREASE FROM TWENTY-SIX TO THIRTY-TWO THE AGE REQUIREMENT FOR ELECTION TO THESE OFFICES, TO INCREASE FROM FIVE TO EIGHT THE NUMBER OF YEARS WHICH A PERSON MUST HAVE BEEN A LICENSED ATTORNEY AT LAW IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION TO THESE OFFICES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT ANY JUSTICE OR JUDGE SERVING IN OFFICE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION REQUIRING A JUSTICE OR JUDGE TO BE THIRTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE AND TO HAVE EIGHT YEARS OF SERVICE AS A LICENSED ATTORNEY AT LAW WHO IS NOT OF THAT AGE OR WHO HAS NOT BEEN LICENSED FOR THIS REQUIRED PERIOD OF TIME MAY CONTINUE TO SERVE FOR THE REMAINDER OF HIS THEN CURRENT TERM AND IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE THE REQUISITE AGE AND YEARS OF SERVICE AS A LICENSED ATTORNEY FOR PURPOSES OF FUTURE RE-ELECTIONS TO THAT JUDICIAL OFFICE; AND RATIFYING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION, RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT BY ADDING SECTION 27 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY LAW SHALL ESTABLISH A JUDICIAL MERIT SELECTION COMMISSION TO CONSIDER THE QUALIFICATIONS AND FITNESS OF CANDIDATES FOR JUDICIAL POSITIONS ON THE COURTS OF THIS STATE WHICH ARE FILLED BY ELECTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TO PROVIDE THAT NO PERSON MAY BE ELECTED TO THESE JUDICIAL POSITIONS UNLESS HE OR SHE HAS BEEN FOUND QUALIFIED BY THE COMMISSION AND THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MUST ELECT THESE JUSTICES AND JUDGES FROM AMONG THE NOMINEES OF THE COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE THAT BEFORE A SITTING MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAY SUBMIT AN APPLICATION WITH THE COMMISSION AND BEFORE IT MAY ACCEPT OR CONSIDER IT, THE MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MUST FIRST RESIGN HIS OFFICE AND HAVE BEEN OUT OF OFFICE FOR A PERIOD ESTABLISHED BY LAW, AND TO PROVIDE THAT BEFORE A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION MAY SUBMIT AN APPLICATION AND BEFORE THE COMMISSION MAY ACCEPT OR CONSIDER IT, THAT PERSON MUST NOT HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION FOR A PERIOD ESTABLISHED BY LAW.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The amendment to Section 15, Article V of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, prepared under the terms of Joint Resolution 471 of 1996, having been submitted to the qualified electors at the general election of 1996 as prescribed in Section 1, Article XVI of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and a favorable vote having been received on the amendment, is ratified and declared to be a part of the Constitution so that Section 15 of Article V is amended to read:
"Section 15. No person shall be eligible to the office of Chief Justice, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, or judge of the circuit court who is not at the time of his election a citizen of the United States and of this State, and has not attained the age of at least thirty-two years, has not been a licensed attorney at law for at least eight years, and has not been a resident of this State for five years next preceding his election.
Any justice or judge serving in office on the effective date of the provisions of this section requiring a justice or judge to be at least thirty-two years of age and to have at least eight years of service as a licensed attorney at law who is not of that age or who has not been licensed for this required period of time may continue to serve for the remainder of his current term and is considered to have the requisite age and years of service as a licensed attorney for purposes of future re-elections to that judicial office."
SECTION 2. The amendment to Article V of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, prepared under the terms of Joint Resolution 471 of 1996, having been submitted to the qualified electors at the general election of 1996 as prescribed in Section 1, Article XVI of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and a favorable vote having been received on the amendment, is ratified and declared to be a part of the Constitution so that Article V, is amended by adding Section 27 to read:
"Section 27. In addition to the qualifications for circuit court and Court of Appeals judges and Supreme Court justices contained in this article, the General Assembly by law shall establish a Judicial Merit Selection Commission to consider the qualifications and fitness of candidates for all judicial positions on these courts and on other courts of this State which are filled by election of the General Assembly. The General Assembly must elect the judges and justices from among the nominees of the commission to fill a vacancy on these courts.
No person may be elected to these judicial positions unless he or she has been found qualified by the commission. Before a sitting member of the General Assembly may submit an application with the commission for his nomination to a judicial office, and before the commission may accept or consider such an application, the member of the General Assembly must first resign his office and have been out of office for a period established by law. Before a member of the commission may submit an application with the commission for his nomination to a judicial office, and before the commission may accept or consider such an application, the member of the commission must not have been a member of the commission for a period to be established by law."