South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018
Journal of the Senate

                                                NO. 12









Friday, January 26, 2018
(Local Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator McLEOD.


The following remarks by Senator M.B. MATTHEWS were ordered printed in the Journal of January 11, 2018:


Good afternoon Mr. PRESIDENT and members of the Senate, I thought I would be making this announcement or giving remarks on this at a later time, however since Senator YOUNG brought the Judicial Merit Selection Committee's report today, I thought it was very important that I present my comments in reference to, not the report itself or the contents, but I am here today to talk about what we do as a Body here.

When I came to the Senate, one of the primary things that was said was that you are -- and I hate to say it -- but a gentlemanly Body, a deliberative Body. I think Senator LEATHERMAN even talks about deliberation and cordial. Right now you have four women in this Body and you have a diverse Body because you have a diverse constituency. I was a little appalled at some of what happened with the Judicial Merit Selection Commission when they were deliberating. I don't want to concentrate on that because I was not a part of the hearings. However, my constituents and what happens to them is a direct result of what happens with this commission. The Judicial Selection Commission selects judges that will preside over the most vital parts of our constituents' lives. But yet, we in this Body passed Section 2-19-10 which states how that commission is to be selected. Who goes on that commission? Well, you sat here years ago, and it was your decision that when making appointments to the commission that race, gender, national origin and other demographic factors should be considered to ensure nondiscrimination to the greatest extent possible as to all segments of the population. Well, that's the law that we have to abide by, but yet, when that commission was appointed, guess what? There is not one female on the Commission, not one female. But yet, you have four Senators in this Body with different demographic makeups, different backgrounds, different jobs and different positions that would bring a wealth of knowledge to that commission. But yet, we were not considered. Let's take it one step further. You owe this to your constituency to make sure that their cases are presided over by diverse judges. How do you get the diversity if you don't have a diverse commission doing the selection? One step further, you have the House members -- you have 24 women in the House, and not one was selected. This is a State where we are at least 30% in looking at it, whenever people vote, you vote about 32% - 34% and it's usually in our geographic makeup is half and half almost -- 48%, and it swings depending upon race, 48% black and you have one black person on the commission from the Senate.

All I can say is please, this is not right. Let's take it one step further, I represent six counties in the Low country. They span from Jasper and go all the way to Charleston. Charleston is a very large geographic area. Please give me one member of the commission in that demographic area that was permitted to sit. It's been stacked against us. I'm not going to get into to the particulars of what we heard rumbling when one of my judges in my area basically stepped away from the process because, from what I understand, she felt slighted because of some of the questions and treatment. I can't get into that because I was not in the room. However, I can say to this Body -- shame on you for not following your own statute. The statute says that you have to be fair in the selection of this commission. Shame on you for not considering minorities! Shame on you for not considering women! Shame on you for not taking care of your constituents. Thank you for your permission to pass out the statute for those who don't have it.



On motion of Senator JOHNSON, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Hayes F. Samuel, Jr. of Manning, S.C. Mr. Samuel was the owner of Samuels Funeral Home of Manning and Co-owner of Samuels and Richardson Funeral Home in Lake City and Coroner of Clarendon County. He was a member of numerous organizations including National Morticians Association, NBSC Advisory Board, Spring Hill Masonic Lodge #188, Chamber of Commerce and a life time member of Trinity AME Church. Hayes was a wonderful friend who will be dearly missed.



On motion of Senator JOHNSON, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Mr. Thomas Bell of Manning, S.C. Thomas was a 1990 graduate of South Carolina State College. He was an educator in Clarendon School District One at Scott's Branch High School from 2001 - present where he served as assistant principal, principal, special education teacher, athletic director and coach. Thomas was a loving husband, and devoted father who will be dearly missed.


At 11:04 A.M., on motion of Senator SETZLER, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 2:00 P.M.

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