THREE VACANCIES IN TWO YEARS? IT COULD HAPPEN …
By FITSNews || The next two years could see three new state Supreme Court justices in South Carolina – depending on how a high stakes game of judicial roulette plays out.
That’s some serious turnover in our state’s uber-corrupt judicial branch of government …
We already know the court’s chief justice, Jean Toal, will step down next year when she hits the state’s mandatory retirement age of 72 (assuming she makes it that long). We also know Costa Pleicones – who ran unsuccessfully against Toal earlier this year – is likely to become chief justice when Toal resigns (assuming he makes it that long).
Pleicones hits the retirement age the following year – 2016 – which would result in another vacancy on the court (and another race for its top spot). So that’s two vacancies over the next two years … where’s the third?
According to our sources, it could wind up being the seat currently held by Donald Beatty – a black Democrat elected by a “Republican” controlled General Assembly back in 2007.
How would that work?
Let’s play musical judicial chairs …
Last June, U.S. president Barack Obama nominated fifth circuit judge Allison Lee to the federal bench – a move championed by U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn. Not long after her nomination, though, Lee was the focus of some very unflattering headlines regarding leniency administered to violent offenders.
Already opposed by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott – Lee’s “soft on crime” problem prompted additional calls for her to stand aside as Obama’s federal designate. So far, Lee has resisted those calls … although multiple sources tell us her support within the White House has eroded considerably over the past fifteen months. We’re also told that if Lee were to stand aside, Beatty would be quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Interesting … so, will the “nominee switch” go down?
It’s possible. Beatty’s situation is interesting in that his supporters – and opponents – are lobbying equally hard for him to become a federal judge.
FITS readers may recall Beatty getting into a high-profile fight recently with the state’s solicitors, who are eager to see him removed from the state’s high court. Not surprisingly, they are using their influence in an effort to get Lee to step down so that Beatty could take her place as Obama’s federal nominee.
Meanwhile Beatty supporters are also pushing hard to see him get a spot on the federal bench.
“Never seen a situation quite like it,” one court watcher told FITS. “His friends and his enemies are on the same team here.”
Stay tuned … if Lee is compelled to withdraw her name from consideration and Obama nominates Beatty to take her spot, we could see three new justices (a new majority) on the state supreme court within the next two years.
Does that mean any of them will be pro-free market, pro-liberty justices (i.e. the kind “Republican-controlled” legislatures are supposed to elect)? Of course not … but the upside of new blood is it’s hard to imagine someone more corrupt than Toal running the state’s judicial branch.