Say you were a young South Carolinian who’d just completed your law degree. Your dad, a big shot in SC politics, waits expectantly for you to pass the bar exam so you can slip into that nice job he has in mind for you – say, assistant district attorney for Chesterfield County (where he’s a circuit judge) or associate legal counsel to an SC state house committee (where he’s chair of the House Judicial Committee). And say you’re Daddy’s Little DarlingÂ® (that’s daughter for those who don’t speak Southernese).
Think what Daddy might do if you failed that bar exam.
Well, in South Carolina Daddy would have your bar exam results changed so that you passed. That’s what happened for some 20 SC law grads (18 of whom, it would seem, are providing convenient cover for those two Daddy’s Little DarlingsÂ®).
Now in order to get those bar exam results changed, he might have to resort to getting the Supreme Court of South Carolina to violate its own rule concerning changing bar exam grades once they become public:
In reversing the grades, the court apparently violated its own order in March banning re-grading after the scores were released by the S.C. Board of Law Examiners, which administers the test. Willful violation of a Supreme Court order is grounds for discipline, under the courtâ€™s own rules.
And once a storm of public protest arose over the maneuver, he might have to get a political buddy, say the Speaker of the SC House to offer a lukewarm form of criticism such as saying that the legislature needed to consider passing a law to create an independent judicial panel to investigate such manipulation of the bar exam results – perhaps. Of course the House Speaker would have to:
“…talk with some folks to see if we really ought to pursue that.” – SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell
For all this to work, of course, you have to have this situation arise in a progressive state like South Carolina:
South Carolina, unlike at least 14 other states, doesnâ€™t have any laws or court rules that require ethical complaints against its justices to be decided by special judicial panels, according to the American Judicature Societyâ€™s Center for Judicial Ethics.
Remember, too, SC is a state represented by the likes of Lindsey Graham, who had this to say about our 16th President’s birthday:
We donâ€™t do Lincoln Day Dinnersâ€¦. Itâ€™s nothing personal, but it takes a while to get over things. – Lindsey Graham
Or to reform nepotism and corruption in the judicial system, it seems.