Hearn, three dozen more judges elected by SC Legislature

South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Commission Chairman Rep. Murrell Smith reads out the nominees for state judgeships on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins).

South Carolina Supreme Court associate Justice Kaye Hearn was elected to another six-year term Wednesday, one of more than three dozen judges put on the bench by the General Assembly.

There were no contested races, but in several races, at least a few House members and occasionally a few senators voted against the only candidate.

Hearn, who became just the second woman ever on the state Supreme Court in 2010, won her latest term on a 122-13 vote.

Rep. Jonathon Hill, a Republican from Townville, requested House members vote separately on each race, stretching the joint session of the General Assembly for the uncontested judicial elections over two hours. 

But the elections were mostly uneventful, unlike the session in 2019 when Black lawmakers walked out in protest over diversity on the bench after what they thought was a vastly more qualified African American candidate lost to a white candidate.

Lawmakers also voted for seats on the state Court of Appeals, Circuit Court and Family Court.

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