Current Status Bill Number:
3063Ratification Number: 151Act Number: 76Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970114Primary Sponsor: WilkinsAll Sponsors: Wilkins, Haskins, H. Brown, J. Brown, Carnell, Cato, Harrison, Meacham, Quinn, Sharpe, D. Smith, Townsend, Vaughn, Stille, Cotty, Witherspoon, Seithel, Bailey, Walker, Altman, Whatley, Kirsh, Young-Brickell, Sandifer, Wilkes, Simrill, Robinson, Stuart, Harrell, Riser, Gamble, Littlejohn and J. SmithDrafted Document Number: gjk\23078sd.97Companion Bill Number: 192Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19970516Governor's Action: U Signature of Governor not requiredDate of Governor's Action: 19970604Subject: Judges, election qualifications, Judicial Merit Selection Commission; courts, General Assembly
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19970630 Act No. A76 ------ 19970604 Signature of Governor not required ------ 19970604 Ratified R151 Senate 19970516 Read third time, enrolled for ratification Senate 19970515 Read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 19970516 Senate 19970513 Recalled from Committee, 11 SJ placed on the Calendar Senate 19970130 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee House 19970130 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19970129 Read second time House 19970122 Committee report: Favorable 25 HJ House 19970114 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee House 19961218 Prefiled, referred to Committee 25 HJView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A76, R151, H3063)
AN ACT 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."
Judicial Merit Selection Commission
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."
Ratified the 4th day of June, 1997.