“ANY OTHER METHOD WOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS”
S.C. Rep. Jonathan Hill has an excellent column up this week exposing the rigged nature of judicial elections in the Palmetto State.
Obviously this is a subject we’ve written on extensively … but we thought Hill’s perspective was worth focusing on seeing as he’s witnessed the scam first-hand. Repeatedly.
“It’s taken me four judicial elections over the last two years to catch on, but there is a nasty little vote-hiding scheme that consistently costs conservatives judges the election,” Hill wrote. “It’s time for this to end.”
According to Hill, “the real voting process is when commitments are being collected behind the scenes.”
“The public is not privy to know what candidates their legislators commit to, and legislators know they will be excused for voting publicly for a bad candidate if that candidate is the only one left,” Hill added. “They will say that they had no choice. On top of that, the vote for the last man standing is usually a voice vote, which is not recorded.”
In fact that’s exactly what happened earlier this week when an avowed liberal (and judicial appointee of U.S. president Barack Obama) was elected chief justice of the S.C. Supreme Court by “Republicans.”
“Opponents of this reform say the current process is best because no money is raised or spent on judicial campaigns, while ignoring the blatant conflicts of interest that can arise when attorney-legislators eventually stand in court to prosecute or defend their clients to the very judges they helped elect,” Hill added. “Naturally they want to win their case, and money is on the line. A wink and a nod is all it takes to remind a judge contemplating ruling against the attorney-legislator of who he is beholden to for his job.”
So true …
“Besides, how is the public served by keeping judicial election votes off the record?” Hill asked. “I dare say that any other method would be better than this, because at least everything would be out in the open for you to see.”
We concur …
We remain steadfastly opposed to the inherent corruption of legislative judicial elections – which we have repeatedly exposed and repeatedly called for lawmakers to reform (along with the rest of the state’s notoriously corrupt judicial branch).
Will they ever listen? Don’t count on it …