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With Polarizing Views and his Partner’s Provocative Artwork, is James Smith “Choose Materials”?

Though he has not practiced legislation for a lot of the previous 5 years, it could be his spouse’s profession that in the end casts extra pink flags than James Smith‘s lack of latest work expertise. Artist Kirkland Smith is most well-known for her work with up to date assemblages, however it’s her provocative artwork that includes what could also be seen because the objectification of ladies that might be problematic for her partner’s pursuit of a judgeship.

If in the end chosen by the legislature for the open Circuit Court docket seat, Smith would normally preside over felony issues of a sexual nature that have an effect on residents of Richland and Kershaw Counties. Successfully vetting these potential conflicts of pursuits now may alleviate troublesome disqualifications later.

The Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 501) governs the habits of judges by offering a framework for judges to successfully discharge their duties whereas avoiding habits that might be interpreted as prejudicial or bias. Some examples of judges’ conduct described inside Rule 501 that could be pertinent to Smith’s candidacy stipulate {that a} choose:

  • isn’t influenced by partisan pursuits.
  • avoids enterprise dealings that might be seen as compromising the status of the workplace or exploitive of the judicial place; relations of a choose are inspired to conduct themselves equally.
  • ought to be certain that extra-judicial actions are carried out in a way that may not solid cheap doubt on his or her capability to behave impartially as a choose.

A former artists’ mannequin who reviewed Kirkland Smith’s web site supplied the next assertion:

“I’ve nice appreciation for artwork in all its types and mediums, valuing the angle {of professional} artists. Nevertheless, as a survivor of sexual assault, I discover myself feeling disquieted by specific depictions of men and women by full frontal work, pictures, and pictures as a consequence of their overtly sexual character. Regardless of holding artists in excessive regard, I can’t assist however specific apprehension relating to Smith’s potential viewpoints and biases in direction of victims of sexual abuse, contemplating his partner’s inclination in direction of creating extremely sexualized artworks that includes ladies.”

Aiken, SC


One among Mr. Smith’s chosen instances shared with the Judicial Benefit Choice Fee (JMSC) might also trace at what might be construed as callousness towards sure demographics. As described on web page 104 of the JMSC’s report of candidate {qualifications}, when he was defending a workers sergeant, Mr. Smith cited the “sequence of failed witnesses.” Particularly, Mr. Smith was referencing the apprehension, incapability, and/or unwillingness of alleged sexual assault victims to testify in opposition to the accused; this in the end led to a “very favorable verdict” for Smith’s shopper who had been charged with assaulting 5 people.

Candidate Smith can be not shy about his personally held beliefs on social media. Whereas most judges and judicial candidates are inclined to have a really small digital footprint, Mr. Smith’s Twitter account praises his spouse’s work: “[her] unbelievable artwork” and the “highly effective message it delivers.” Beforehand endorsed by Deliberate Parenthood, his help to such divisive matters as global warming is hardly the reserved look that’s anticipated for one of many state’s coveted judicial positions.

As a result of the legislature solely decides on judgeships in South Carolina, residents can voice help or concern for particular person candidates by their elected representatives.