State House

James Smith’s Judgeship: Denied

GOP supermajority rejects candidacy of über-liberal nominee …

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Former South Carolina minority leader – and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee – James Smith was decisively defeated in his bid to become a circuit court judge in the Palmetto State on Wednesday.

Smith, 56, failed to come remotely close to securing the necessary votes from a joint session of the S.C. General Assembly – even though his was the only name on the ballot. His defeat represented a stinging rebuke of the state’s uniparty elite – and a huge win for the conservative SC Freedom Caucus.

Indeed, the caucus’ chairman – Upstate congressional candidate Adam Morganhailed the vote on X.



“Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Smith’s candidacy for circuit court was just rejected,” Morgan noted. “Thank YOU, the grassroots, for pressuring House GOP leadership who were pushing Smith’s candidacy but did a 180 today!”

Who was unhappy with the outcome? The mainstream media.

In a report seething with impotent rage, Alexander Thompson of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier assailed GOP lawmakers for using “unprecedented parliamentary tactics” to block Smith’s election – a move he described as “without precedent in recent memory.”

Smith’s election to the bench seemed a foregone conclusion after Democrats conspired to remove his sole opponent – an eminently qualified black candidate – from the ballot. According to our sources, Smith was within five votes of securing the necessary 86 “ayes” from the so-called “Republican” supermajority prior to Wednesday’s voting.

When he was ultimately unable to get those votes, several dozen GOP lawmakers who were previously supporting his candidacy saw the writing on the wall – and flip-flopped to vote against him.

While Smith was lauded by supporters for his military record, he admitted to the notoriously corrupt S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission (SCJMSC) last year that he hasn’t actively practiced law in five years. He’s also got serious ethical issues in his past … not to mention a serious problem telling the truth.




Six years ago, Smith ran one of the most left-of-center gubernatorial campaigns in South Carolina history – including promises to expand access to “safe, legal abortion.”

“James Smith is a vocal supporter and advocate for Planned Parenthood,” the organization noted in a press release endorsing his candidacy.

Smith also campaigned in 2018 on a costly “Medicare-for-all” single-payer health care system – i.e. the exact proposal embraced by socialist U.S. senator Bernie Sanders.

Those views are clearly incompatible with views held by SCGOP primary voters – although Smith did reportedly meet privately with several Freedom Caucus members, telling them that if elected he would not attempt to erode last summer’s S.C. supreme court decision upholding a six-week abortion ban.

I previously pointed out the cognitive dissonance among “conservative” lawmakers – who have consistently elevated left-of-center judges to high positions with calamitous consequences.

“This is a party that loves to complain about activist, liberal judges,” I noted. “And yet in South Carolina, its members are the ones electing those judges.”



(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.



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Squishy123 (the original) April 17, 2024 at 5:27 pm

Now what will Jimmy do? He’s falling less and less out of favor with those at the State House… his political career is kaput, the new President at USC kicked him out because he didn’t do anything on the job, other than drink coffee and stand in doorways bothering people, Pastides created for him and then doubled his salary to over $200,000 when Pastides came back in the interim. Nelson Mullens hired him but he admits to not doing anything for the past five years other than collecting a paycheck. Now that he doesn’t have the State House pull will they send him packing? Hardy fucking HA!!! Maybe his weird wife will let him stay at home and glue shit to cardboard with her and call it art.

Squishy123 (the original) April 17, 2024 at 5:48 pm

According to the Post & Courier, little Jimmy was in attendance for the vote. Apparently he wanted to be there for all the back slapping and hugs… only, sadly to watch his shit get pushed in and his dream of being a judge squashed. The only thing that would make this even better is if his family was there with him. I wonder if he left the State House likely for the last time in tears.

AC Top fan April 18, 2024 at 6:41 am

Obviously from the vote the chair of the ways and means committee is actually not the staunch republican he claims to be. Looks like he is just another Democrat using the label of Republican to get elected. The country club liberals in his district will support him though since the city of Greenville has become “South Asheville” and is not at all reflective of the county. Hopefully Adam Morgan can defeat the spoiled brat he is running against for congress.

Chris Drummond Top fan April 18, 2024 at 8:48 am

Me. Folks,
I think it’s disingenuous to give credit to the extremist knows as the Freedom Caucus. I remember working with you to defeat James Smith. You deserve more credit than the handful of elected officials within the group you referenced.

It’s very obvious that Republicans would not endorse ultra liberal and quite frightening James Smith. Republicans have beaten down on James Smith’s policies and vision for more than two decades.

I suggest you edit your story and take credit for defeating James Snith!


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