The S.C. Supreme Court could decide soon who will choose the state’s next lieutenant governor.
The court will hear arguments in that dispute Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m., state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said Wednesday.
Davis had asked the court to rule that the governor cannot appoint the lieutenant governor until after the 2018 general election.
In 2014, voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the governor and lieutenant governor — now elected separately — to be elected on the same ticket starting in 2018, as the president and vice president are.
However, ratification language for the amendment omitted a 2018 starting date for the governor to gain the ability to appoint a new lieutenant governor if that post becomes vacant, Davis says.
The issue has more urgency because S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is slated to join the Trump Administration as ambassador to the United Nations. That will elevate Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster to the Governor’s Mansion but leave open the state’s No. 2 elected post.
It is unclear whether McMaster then can name his lieutenant governor or the Senate president pro tempore will move up to the post.