Cougars look to cool down Catamounts

Andrew Goudelock and the College of Charleston will try to end Vermont’s 10-game winning streak today.

The South Carolina Supreme Court has set the date for arguments in the case that 9th Circuit Family Court Judge F.P. "Charlie" Segars-Andrews brought against the state challenging its method of screening judges.

The court said Thursday that the arguments are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. March 2 in Columbia.

Segars-Andrews filed suit against the S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission and three top state lawmakers last year after the commission found her unqualified to seek a new six-year term.

Segars-Andrews, who is continuing to serve until her term expires in June, has 16 years of experience.

The commission voted 7-3 against her because of how she handled a potential conflict of interest in a Clarendon County divorce case. She ruled in the case even after she learned that her husband's law firm had shared a settlement with an attorney representing the wife.

Her suit says the commission breached the separation of powers by leaning so heavily on that one case, where her ruling and conduct were upheld by the S.C. Court of Appeals and the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct.

However, Segars-Andrews' suit calls into question whether the commission -- which has six lawmakers among its 10 members -- violates the state's constitutional ban on dual office-holding.

The court will hear only from Segars-Andrews and attorneys representing the defendants, which include the commission, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn F. McConnell and House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

It will not hear from attorneys representing the S.C. League of Women Voters and other groups that have filed briefs in support of Segars-Andrews.