Former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley expressed her displeasure Wednesday after a Lowcountry circuit court judge decided to remove her name from consideration for re-election after state lawmakers questioned whether she was fit to serve on the bench.
On Tuesday, 9th Circuit Court Judge Kristi Lea Harrington withdrew her name from the S.C. Legislature’s consideration for re-election after state lawmakers said only 40 percent of more than 500 lawyers surveyed thought she was well-qualified for the bench — the lowest of all sitting judges.
Thirteen percent of those same attorneys said Harrington could be insecure, rude, arrogant and condescending, has a short fuse and is a poor candidate for re-election.
“The role of a judge is not to appease lawyers. The role of a judge is to bring justice for the people,” Haley, now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Twitter. “Thank you Judge Harrington for always doing what is right for the people of S.C.”
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Harrington was 38 years old when she took the bench in 2008.
She acknowledged in front of lawmakers Tuesday she could be heavy-handed, sometimes unapproachable, running a strict courtroom when she first joined the bench.
But that changed, she said.
“Every one in this room would agree I work very hard,” Harrington said in front of supporters Tuesday. “Sometimes, I lose focus on how hard I make everyone else work for me.”
Harrington’s term ends June 30.
“I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to serve the state of South Carolina,” she said.