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The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Frances P. Segars-Andrews, Petitioner,


Judicial Merit Selection Commission, The State of South Carolina, The Honorable Andre Bauer, in his official capacity as President of the South Carolina Senate, and The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, in his official capacity as President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate, and The Honorable Robert W. Harrell, Jr., in his official capacity as Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Respondents.


Petitioner requests that the Court issue a declaratory judgment, in its original jurisdiction, finding that (1) S.C. Code Ann. § 2-19-10(B) (2005) is unconstitutional, and (2) the Judicial Merit Selection Commission’s finding petitioner not qualified to be a family court judge violated the constitution and laws of South Carolina.  Respondents have filed a return in opposition to the petition for original jurisdiction.[1]

The petition for original jurisdiction is granted.  We dispense with the filing of an answer to the complaint.  Moreover, because the issues in this case are limited to specific questions of law, we also dispense with the requirement that the parties agree on a record.  Instead, copies of any materials, with the exception of supporting law referenced in the briefs filed by the parties, shall be included as attachments to the briefs.

Petitioner shall serve one copy of her brief, which shall be in the form of a final brief, on respondents, and file fifteen copies of the brief with this Court within ten days of the date of this order.  Within ten days after service of petitioner’s brief, respondents shall serve one copy of their brief(s), also in the form of a final brief, on petitioner, and file fifteen copies of the brief(s) with this Court.  Petitioner shall have five days after service of respondents’ brief(s) in which to serve and file a reply brief in the manner set forth in Rule 208(a)(3), SCACR.  The briefs shall, to the fullest extent possible, comply with the content and form requirements of Rule 208(b), SCACR.  No extensions of time will be granted.  The parties shall be notified if the Court finds that oral argument is necessary to resolve this matter.


s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
January 22, 2010

[1] Counsel for respondent State of South Carolina submitted a letter in lieu of a formal return.  Therein, he states the State does not object to the Court entertaining this matter in its original jurisdiction; however, he does not consent to any relief requested in the petition for original jurisdiction or admit any arguments made or positions taken by petitioner as to issues in the case.