Lawsuit prompts suspension of judicial elections

COLUMBIA (AP) -- South Carolina's legislature is halting election of judges after a Family Court judge filed a lawsuit when she was deemed unqualified.

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell said Thursday that challenge before the state Supreme Court will stop all action on selecting judges and screening them for qualifications until the issue is resolved.

The Legislature's South Carolina Judicial Merit Selection Commission screens judges.

Family Court Judge F.P. "Charlie" Segars-Andrews was found unqualified because she did not remove herself from a case when her husband had ties to a lawyer representing a man's ex-wife.

She said she did nothing wrong.

Her lawsuit says legislators' control of the screening commission is unconstitutional.

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APNP 01-21-10 1843EST