Imagens das páginas

Legislature, electioneering to promote a man to the Chief Justiceship of South Carolina, can be made any worse if Judges are elected by the people? Do you think that a combination to the effect that if A and his friends will vote for B for the Supreme Court, that B's friends and the friends of C, who is to be Solicitor, will vote for A for Circuit Judge, and that if C's friends will vote for B for the Supreme Court and for A for Circuit Judge then their friends will help C to be Solicitor--do you think, gentlemen, any greater or worse or more involved combination than that can be made, or any more petty politics can be played than the working of a combination like that, if Judges are elected by the people? Understand, gentlemen, nobody charges that such things have ever been done. Oh, no! I would not think of making such a charge. We have too high a judiciary. But I ask you, if it has ever been done, can the people become involved in a combination in a Judgeship election that will surpass it? Again, if E will do all he can for D to be Judge, D will do all he can to help E be Solicitor. Is that a political combination, or is that high politics in Judgeship elections by the Legislature? No, gentlemen, the people are entitled to a voice and a vote in the election of their Judges, and I am appealing to you to give the people that right; and whether I ever run for another political office or not, I will be invited to make speeches somewhere, at some time, and whatever gathering I may address in the future I shall ask the people of this State to take this question under consideration, and ask them, if you do not give them this right, to demand that the men who run for the Legislature in their counties next time pledge themselves one way or the other upon this all-important question.

Why should the Judges be above the people? They, too, are of the people; they are human beings; they are subject to the same temptations, the same passions and the same desires as other men

And why is it that our Judges are not reverenced today as they once were? I recall when Joseph B. Kershaw, William H. Wallace, A. P. Aldrich, Thomas B. Fraser, the elder, and men of that caliber, came to our town in the years gone by, the old men and the young men, as the Judge would walk across the square, would raise their hats as they said, "Good morning," or "Good evening, Judge." Sometimes you would see an old fellow go up with tears in his eyes to one of these men, to say, "Howdy, General", some old soldier who had fought under him in the face of the cannon -and you could see the intense love and devotion the whole people had for their Judges. Is it so today? If not, why not?


4S. J.-(500)

It may be argued that you will get better Judges by letting the I.egislature elect. Well, gentlemen, I will not express myself upon this-I might be called a partisan--but I refer you to the list of Judges and to the decisions of our Courts, and let you pass upon that for yourselves. You would have to raise the salaries, if you want improvement in the judiciary, and you should raise the salaries of Judges, because almost any lawyer, even practicing in a small county seat, can make as much money as the salary you pay one of your Circuit or Supreme Court Judges. But I have always heard it said that lawyers' fees are paid by the ability the lawyers display.

This is a living issue, gentlemen; it is one for you to meet; and I beg you to give the people an opportunity to pass upon it for themselves, and to say whether they want to elect their Judges or not. You can only pass an Act submitting the constitutional amendment to the people, and if they do not want it they can vote it down. But I guarantee you, if you submit it to them, that instead of two-thirds of the people voting to take this power into their hands, the vote for it will be well-nigh unanimous. And I believe that some of our present Supreme Court and Circuit Judges would welcome the change, because they would not fear to face the people of their State, standing upon any decision they have made in any case, knowing their decisions have been intelligent and made from an honest heart; and they are willing to abide by any decision the people may make.

ILLNESS OF JUDGES. I respectfully recommend that you pass an Act requiring the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to have in his hands the certificate of a first-class, reputable physician, that any Circuit Judge who is to be excused from holding his Courts, and another appointed in his place, on account of illness, is in such condition that he is unable to hold Court; and that no special Judge be appointed to act for any regular Judge unless such certificate is in the hands of the Chief Justice.

As a matter of fact, I think when any public official, whether he be a State or other officer, reaches that point in his life, either by reason of age or as a result of illness, that he becomes incapacitated for the work of his office, he should resign and allow some one else to be appointed who can do the work and be a proper representative of the people, and not continuously hold on, even though incapacitated and with no hope of being restored to such health and

manhood as will enable him to discharge the public duties he has been elected or appointed to discharge, and for the discharge of which he is drawing a salary for which he is giving no return. It is a delicate matter to ask him to resign; it is a much more delicate matter to pass a resolution by two-thirds of your body requesting his removal; and it does seem to me that his self-respect and his love for the people should cause him so to act that the people will not be required to pay additional taxes to secure somebody to do his work. It would be better for you to pass an Act retiring him upon a salary, and then put some one in the position to do the work, rather than continually to be picking up new men, with no experience, temporarily to fill his position, often involving the most serious and most important matters.


In conclusion, gentlemen, I desire to call to your attention the reports of the various State institutions and of the various State officers, as evidence, conclusive and indisputable, of South Carolina's wonderful progress along material and educational lines. Hand in hand together, the march of material progress and the mental and moral uplift of our people have gone steadily forward. The figures show that during the past decade there has been a wonderful increase in our agricultural productions and in our varied manufacturing interests; peace and a substantial prosperity have blessed us. New textile industries have sprung up within the past year; those we already had are flourishing, and we are told that the record of this "industry in South Carolina during the past year has attracted the attention of investors and business circles in the North,” not only on account of its material development, but also on account of the fine showing made in health and general condition of the employees. We are told by the Department of Agriculture that we have raised nearly 2,000,000 more bushels of corn this year than ever before in the history of the State, and that the cotton crop, while smaller than that of the year before, will undoubtedly put more money in the pockets of the farmers than did that exceptionally large yield; that in the manufacturing activities of the State there has been a magnificent increase during the past year, both in capital invested and in the value of manufactured product. In every phase of South Carolina's economic life, the year 1912 will rank as the very best year of all that have gone before, and in the

higher activities of the life of our people there has been the same gratifying progress.

Your attention is respectfully invited to the reports of the different departments and institutions of the State, which will be submitted to you, giving in detail these facts which I have attempted only briefly to touch upon in the way of the barest summary.

You come to your deliberations, gentlemen, with this fine record of your State behind you. There has been no time in South Carolina in recent years when constructive statesmanship, in the interest of the peace and prosperity of all the people of our Commonwealth, could be more productive or more genuinely fruitful. South Carolina today stands face to face with a wonderful future; there stretches out before her a field of activity as inviting as it is limitless. You may, gentlemen, by wise policies, coming from minds and hearts consecrated to the people's service, give impetus to this magnificent advancement. Yours is a high and responsible position; you have been delegated to make the laws for a people whose heritage is rich in high purpose and in achievement, and whose eyes are turned to a morning of brilliant promise.

It is my earnest prayer that wise counsels may guide you; and that your session may take its place in South Carolina's history as one in which every purpose and every vote was controlled by consideration only for the best interests of all the people of our State. God grant that this may be true.

Very respectfully,




Resolved by the Senate, That so much of the Governor's Message as refers to State finances, the relief of certain storm sufferers, and to detectives, be referred to the Committee on Finance; that so much thereof as refers to education, classification of colleges and Clemson College, be referred to the Committee on Education; that so much thereof as refers to the hosiery mill be referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs and Penitentiaries generally; that so much thereof as refers to the Board of Pardons, trusts and combinations, exclusive franchises, tax on water powers, rate of interest, exchange on checks, return money on C. O. D. packages,

enforcement of law, concealed weapon law, and editors and reporters, be referred to the Judiciary Committee; that so much thereof as refers to passenger rate on railroads, to Committee on Railway, and to Torrens land system, be referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and that so much thereof as refers to the election of judges by the people be referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections.

On immediate consideration the Resolution was adopted.


S. 1.- Mr. CARLISLE:

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring :

First: That the two Houses meet in joint assembly on Thursday, January 16, 1913, for the purpose of electing a judge of the First Circuit, superintendent of the State Penitentiary and three directors of the State Penitentiary.

Second: That the ballots shall be taken for each office, if so much be necessary, and that after three ballots shall be taken for any of these offices the joint assembly shall recede from business until the next legislation day at same hour, at which time not more than three ballots shall be taken on each office to be filled, if so much be necessary. This procedure shall be followed each day until all of the above officers are elected.

Third: That all nominations and seconds to nominations shall be made without speeches.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

ADJOURNMENT. On motion of Mr. LIDE, the Senate adjourned at 1:45 p. m.


The Senate assembled at 12 a. m., the hour to which it stood ad curned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.

The roll was called, and, a quorum answering to their names, the PRESIDENT announced the Senate ready to proceed to business.

The proceedings were opened with prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. C. A. Freed.

« AnteriorContinuar »