SC high court dismisses suit over screening panel

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Supreme Court says it won't decide an argument over whether a lawmaker-dominated panel can declare judicial candidates unqualified.

The court on Tuesday dismissed a request from Charleston County Family Court Judge Frances Segars-Andrews to overturn a screening committee's ruling that she's not qualified to stay on the bench.

Segars-Andrews has held the job since 1993. But the Judicial Merit Selection panel last year ruled her unqualified for re-election because she stayed on a case when her husband had ties to a lawyer for a man's ex-wife.

Six lawmakers sit on that 10-member panel, and South Carolina judges - including the Supreme Court - are elected by lawmakers. Segars-Andrews says it's inappropriate for lawmakers to dominate the committee, then vote in judicial elections.

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