Judicial Disqualification Resource Center

South Carolina

Judicial Recusal & Judge Bias in South Carolina

Swallowtail 1In South Carolina disqualification is governed by the South Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct, which calls on a judge to disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including instances where he has a personal bias against a party; as well as by Rule 33 of the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court, which generally requires that a judge recuse when he has a personal bias concerning a party. A South Carolina constitutional provision, Article V, §19, also deals with the subject.

1. For a recent (Dec. 2013) ABA Journal article discussing how 13 of South Carolina’s 16 prosecutors planned to seek to disqualify Supreme Court Justice Beatty from all criminal matters on the basis of remarks he made in a speech to prosecutors click here. For an article in The State discussing the same threat to recuse Justice Beatty click here

2. To review an October 2012 South Carolina Court Administration memorandum to South Carolina’s probate court judges regarding situations in which they may “seek” to recuse themselves click here

3. For an overview of recusal and disqualification law in South Carolina, which is updated annually, see Flamm, R., Judicial Disqualification: Recusal and Disqualification of Judges, § 28.42. For a 2011 University of South Carolina Law Review article discussing in detail the “lessons that can be learned about recusal decisions from the South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Commission’s much-discussed ruling” in 2009 concerning the qualifications of South Carolina Family Court Judge Segars-Andrews click here , citing R. Flamm, Judicial Disqualification. To locate libraries in South Carolina that have the current edition of Judicial Disqualification click here