SC Supreme Court considers screening panel

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court is considering if a panel dominated by lawmakers can declare judicial candidates unqualified.

The State newspaper reported justices heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit by Charleston Family Court Judge Frances Segars-Andrews. She's asking the high court to overturn a screening committee's ruling she's no longer qualified.

Segars-Andrews has had the job since 1993, but the Judicial Merit Selection panel ruled last year she is unqualified for re-election.

Judges in South Carolina, including the Supreme Court, are elected by lawmakers. The 10-member review panel has six lawmakers.

Segars-Andrews says it's inappropriate for lawmakers to dominate the committee and then vote in judicial elections. An attorney for the panel says there's nothing wrong with the practice.

Information from: The State,

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