Five judges are vying for an open slot on South Carolina’s highest court.
The Judicial Merit Selection Commission this week released its list of candidates for the South Carolina Supreme Court. The five are running for a seat that will become available when Chief Justice Jean Toal steps down in December after reaching the mandatory retirement age. State legislators have elected Associate Justice Costa Pleicones as Toal’s replacement. The move creates the first open seat on the state Supreme Court since 2009.
The JMSC is a legislative-controlled commission that vets nominees for open judicial positions. They will hold hearings in November to interview the candidates and will do background checks to endure each is qualified. The names will then be forwarded to the full House and Senate for next year’s elections. Lawmakers will also vote on choosing the next chief justice, as Pleicones will reach the mandatory retirement age in 2016.
South Carolina is one of just two states where lawmakers elect judges.
The three judges from South Carolina’s Court of Appeals are Chief Judge John Few, Judge Aphrodite Konduros, and Judge H. Bruce Williams.
Circuit Judge D. Craig Brown of Florence is also in the running, as is Chief Judge of the state Administrative Law Court Ralph King Anderson III.