FITSNews Exclusive – S.C. Supreme Court Could Be Investigated November 27, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
… ASSUMING LAWMAKERS CAN FIND A WAY TO REVIEW BAR EXAM FLAP
FITSNews – November 27, 2007 – While S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal was reportedly planting flowers outside the state’s highest court earlier today, several South Carolina lawmakers who spoke with FITSNews on the condition of anonymity were busy planting the seeds for a formal investigation into the Court’s recent actions surrounding the controversial administration of the state bar exam.
Earlier this month, the Court broke with its own tradition of not altering grades (or hearing appeals related to grades) and tossed out an entire section of the exam – a move that enabled six clerks for prominent circuit court judges to receive a passing score. One clerk was the daughter of a circuit court judge, and another clerk was the daughter of a prominent State Representative.
The ensuing firestorm – which was editorialized on in this morning’s edition of La Socialista, coincidentally – hasn’t let up despite several efforts by the Court to justify the controversial decision.
“It’s a sad situation, another black eye,” said one of the lawmakers we spoke with. “Our problem is that while we have near universal agreement among all the non-lawyers in the (legislative) body that something ought to be done to restore public confidence, legitimate jurisdictional questions have been raised. Plus none of the attorneys in either chamber will touch (the issue) with a ten foot pole.”
Another legislator who spoke with FITSNews on the condition of anonymity stated definitively that any investigation of the Court’s action would be unconstitutional.
“We can’t go running around investigating another branch of government,” said the legislator, who is also a practicing attorney in South Carolina. “We have seperation of powers in this state (and) the only agency that can investigate the Court’s actions here is the Justices themselves.”