- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Five judges are vying for an open slot on South Carolina’s Supreme Court.

The candidates whose names were released Monday by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission include three judges from South Carolina’s Court of Appeals: John Few, Aphrodite Konduros and Bruce Williams.

Circuit Judge D. Craig Brown of Florence is also in the running, as is Ralph King Anderson III, chief judge of the state Administrative Law Court.

The vacancy comes as the result of the retirement in December of Chief Justice Jean Toal, who turns 72 in August and is required to retire at the end of the year because of her age. She will be replaced by Justice Costa Pleicones, whose seat then becomes available.

Pleicones, who has been on the Supreme Court since 2000, ran unopposed this year for the chief slot after unsuccessfully challenging Toal’s re-election in 2014. He turns 72 next year and can therefore only spend a year as the state’s top jurist, so that retirement will create yet another high court vacancy.

The commission says hearings will be held in November for the Supreme Court seat, as well as dozens of other judicial positions, some of which are hotly contested.

South Carolina is one of two states where lawmakers elect judges to interpret laws passed by lawmakers.

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Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


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