Senator Rose charting a new course on magistrate appointments

Our readers know we've not always agreed with Senator Mike Rose, but on the issue of magisterial appointments, which was blown wide open by the man he ousted from the seat in the June primary, we think he's doing the right thing. Instead of picking relatives or political allies to fill the seats, the Summerville Senator announced that he would take applications from interested parties and appointed a committee to review those applications which were submitted:

Rose has appointed a citizens committee to review the applications, conduct interviews with the candidates and receive any other information from police agencies and citizens who use the Magistrates Court.

S. C. Court of Appeals Judge Daniel F. Piper is heading up the Dorchester County Magistrate Merit Selection Committee. Judge Pieper was elected to the Court of Appeals in May, 2007 .... Judge Pieper is joined on the selection committee by Family Court Judge William Wylie, Jr. who was elected to the position of resident judge for the Family Court for the First Judicial Circuit. He is a former Dorchester County Probate Judge.

Other citizen members are Dr. Tim Huber, a dentist who resides in Kings Grant and a retired 22 year veteran of the United States Navy; Ted French, a Coosaw Creek business man and a retired Colonel from the U.S. Air Force; Ernest Moultrie of Summerville who is in charge of Court Security for Dorchester County; Julie Anderson, a realtor for Horne Realty in Summerville and a former resident of Ridgeville, who chaired sister Jenny Horne’s campaign for the State House of Representatives in the June primary; Jim Emery, a resident of the Bridges of Summerville, an 18 year veteran of the New York State Legislature and a retired Colonel from the USAF; and Pegge Schall, an Ashborough resident who is a member of the Dorchester County Zoning and Planning Board and a former Republican Executive Committeeman and President of the Ashborough Precinct.

This early move by Senator Rose offers a constructive idea on how to address this thorny issue - and we think it shows a lot of promise. We hope others look at this experiment and consider how they can reform how magistrates are appointed in their communities.

11 Response to "Senator Rose charting a new course on magistrate appointments"

  1. Waldo 23/1/09 00:31
    It really is astonishing how SC legislators live on another planet when it comes to an independent judiciary.
  2. You'll Get Yours 23/1/09 00:49
    What is astonishing is the whole bullshit game Mr. Capps has pulled over on people. He says he did not support anyone for the Senate, and now he's praising Mike Rose. In that debate that he moderated, he intentionally chose Rose supporters to ask questions.

    Mr. Capps, your day is coming and you will get yours. We know your game. We are not fooled.
  3. gina britt 23/1/09 15:04
    I too support Senator Mike Rose. Unfortunately, the members of the Summerville Town Council are not thrilled with my approval of this honest man! Anyone know an attorney willing to take on the Town of Summerville? Of course you can't be buddies with the YMCA or the good ole boy society? Mr. Rose knows all about my situation yet No local attorney has the ____ to take the Town on! Wait..the Knight Law firm did but were told they could not represent due to conflict of interest. Contact
  4. Anonymous 23/1/09 16:16

    I don't know about your situation, but I bet if we got enough loud, obnoxiously annoying people to picket about & amongst your situation -- it could only expedite a solution of some sort to your situation.

  5. lake marion mg 24/1/09 10:46
    The list is impressive but how about a fry cook from Hardees or McDonalds on this committee. Serious while I think Mr. Rose has a good idea this list is front loaded and the majority of these type people will never use the Magistrate court system. My Nephew is a head Magistrate for one of the counties close by. He is a Farmer also a graduate of USC Columbia and attended all sorts of classes and schools for Judges. What I am saying is and I repeat put a couple of lower middle class people on the search team and then it would seem better to me.
  6. Anonymous 24/1/09 16:16
    I appreciate the fact that there are some legally trained individuals on the committee. Our justice system is best served by persons who are educated in the law at a law school, not some random classes at a convention.
    A magistrate has the power to impose sentences that could and do send people to the Department of Corrections for months and to order judgments of $7500 (with proposed legislation to increase that amount to $15,000).
    While I am certain there are some lay-trained magistrates who understand the law, I certainly would not one to impose such sentences without proper vetting by people who actually know the law...just as I would not want my food grown by attorneys or my mechanic to perform dental surgery.
  7. Earl Capps 24/1/09 19:50
    Most panel members have legal experience. One panelist whose qualifications were understated in the story was Jim Emery. He was the Republican House leader in the NY legislature and a county sheriff in New York before that.

    At least one of those panel members was not a Rose supporter and of course the judges are neutral parties, so he's gone out of his way to pick a rather inclusive team with.
  8. Anonymous 24/1/09 19:59
    You get the point and Senator Rose gets the point...evidently your readers don't understand that magistrates should not be 'favors' to get an appointment. Magistrates make serious decisions affecting liberty and livlihoods. Fry cooks need not apply.
  9. Earl Capps 24/1/09 20:07
    Hold on 1959. MG wasn't suggesting we appoint someone who would be unqualified but politically-connected, he was just suggesting we balance the vetting committee.

    But I do get, and support, what Senator Rose is out to do - the appointment process needs to judge the candidates based upon their qualifications.

    There is no surprise that the lower the standards of qualifications, the higher the likelihood that the rules the magistrate should follow will be bent, broken and/or disregarded.
  10. clarendon mg 25/1/09 10:24
    Vetting the process is exactly what I would want to do by balancing it among all types of people. Give Mr Rose credit at least he has a better plan than most.
  11. Anonymous 26/1/09 14:02
    Why does it seem, as someone not from around here, that getting justice administered fairly is going to mean cracking some kind of glass ceiling?

    You know, that glass ceiling separating the cronies and their brand of readily-dispensed judicial favors -- and that brand of crappy lip-service-justice the rest of us get?

    Even the counter people at Hardees [which SOMEBODY seems compelled to always mention] administer what they administer FAIRLY.


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