Monday, June 12, 2006

Decisions by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission are Nonjusticable

In South Carolina Public Interest Foundation v. South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Committee, the trial court found that the issue of whether the Judicial Merit Selection Commission (Commission) properly evaluated a candidate seeking election to a circuit court seat was a nonjusticiable political question. The Supreme Court affirmed:

[T]he State Constitution, in unequivocal terms, vests the power to determine the qualifications for judicial candidates in the General Assembly. Were we to review this case, this Court would be delving into the decision making process of the very body that determines whether the members of this Court are qualified to seek election to the bench. We decline to put the judiciary in a position that would interfere with the selection of its very own members. Accordingly, we hold that the issue of whether Mullen was properly qualified is a nonjusticiable political question.

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