In an order issued on August 4, 2021 it would seem that Lawyers who have also chosen to become State Legislators have now received more protection than what they already had. This order gives them absolute protection from being called to give a deposition, a trial or hearing in any Court in this State due to the redistricting meetings for the state legislative lines.
This order segrates these Attorney/Legislators from all other Legislators as if they were a more prized group compared to other legislators. The order in one way prevents the wheels of justice from moving forward if these individuals are required in a case, by bringing that case to a halt until these attorney/legislators are done. Not to mention the benefit they receive if any of them are involved in suits themselves, by giving them time.
What about other legislators who are not attorney’s who may be called to give testimony in a court case? They are not given this absolute protection in order to attend meetings on the issue of redrawing legislative lines.
When these Lawyers chose to become State Legislators they knew that at some points their business would be affected by them having to be at State functions, such as the redrawing of these lines. So, why are they now giving this absolute protection by the Supreme Court, while other legislators who also have their own businesses are not even considered in this order. Are we next going to issue them absolute protections during election times as those times are also important for the State and consume a major amount of hours from these attorney/legislators?
Many people through out the state have begun saying it is time to remove the many protections these Attorney/Legislators have and to hold them accountable for their actions either as a lawyer or as a legislator. There are 32 House Representatives that are Attorney/Legislators making up 25.8% of that side of the State Legislators. 19 Senators are Attorney/Legislators making up 41.3% on the Senate side. Many of these Attorney/Legislators have been in office for multiple terms (List of Attorney/Legislators).
It’s also noteworthy that the number of Attorney/Legislators seems to be getting smaller, due to South Carolinians growing mistrust of such Lawyer/Legislators.
With such an order coming from the highest court in South Carolina giving absolute protection to these individuals, one needs to begin asking “Why” do they even need such protections? And does such an order prevent the Judicial Process from moving forward in a timely manner, simply due to the fact these Lawyer/Legislators have to redraw lines for financial gain?