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TO AMEND SECTION 70(C), CHAPTER 19, TITLE 2, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY AMENDING SECTION 70, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL TIME FOR MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO REVIEW THE JUDICIAL MERIT SELECTION COMMISSION'S DRAFT REPORT OF JUDICIAL CANDIDATES BEFORE THE REPORT BECOMES FINAL AND JUDICIAL CANDIDATES CAN OBTAIN PLEDGES OR COMMITMENTS; BY AMENDING SECTION 80(E), SO AS TO SHORTEN THE TIME PERIOD FROM RELEASE OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT UNTIL THE TIME FOR THE ELECTION OF THE JUDICIAL CANDIDATES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 70, Chapter 19, Title 2 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
No candidate for judicial office A person may not seek directly or indirectly seek the pledge of a member of the General Assembly's vote or, directly or indirectly, contact a member of the General Assembly regarding screening for the any judicial office until the qualifications of all candidates for that office have been determined by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and the commission has formally released its report as to the qualifications of all candidates for the vacancy to the General Assembly. No A member of the General Assembly may not directly or indirectly offer his pledge until the qualifications of all candidates for that office have been determined by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and until the commission has formally released its report as to the qualifications of its nominees to the General Assembly. The formal release of the report of qualifications shall occur no earlier than forty-eight hours noon, on the twelfth day after the nominees have been initially released to members of the General Assembly. For purposes of this section, indirectly seeking a pledge means the a person, a candidate, or someone acting on behalf of and at the request of the a person or a candidate, requesting a person someone to contact a member of the General Assembly on behalf of the a person or a candidate before nominations for that office are formally made by the commission. The prohibitions of this section do not extend to an announcement of candidacy by the candidate and statements by the candidate detailing the candidate's qualifications.
SECTION 2. Section 2-19-80(E) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(E) A period of at least
two weeks twenty-two days must elapse between the date of the commission's inital report of nominations to the General Assembly and the date the General Assembly conducts the election for these judgeships."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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