South Carolina Appointment of Adjutant General, Amendment 2 (2014)

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Amendment 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:South Carolina Constitution
Referred by:South Carolina Legislature
Topic:Elections and campaigns on the ballot
Status:ApprovedApproveda
2014 measures
Seal of South Carolina.jpg
June 10
Democratic Primary AQsApproveda
Republican Primary AQsApproveda
November 4
Amendment 1Approveda
Amendment 2Approveda
Endorsements

The South Carolina Appointment of Adjutant General, Amendment 2 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in South Carolina as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure provided for the appointment of the South Carolina Adjutant General by the South Carolina Governor, upon consent from the state senate. It also required the South Carolina General Assembly to provide by law for the qualifications for office, the office’s term, duties and compensation, the procedures for appointment and the procedures for removal from office. The measure also classified the adjutant general as a “major general,” rather than as a “brigadier general.”[1]

At the time of Amendment 2's approval, the South Carolina Adjutant General served as head of the Military Department of the state, and was in charge of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, Youth Challenge and AmeriCorps. Prior to the amendment's passage, South Carolinians elected the adjutant general. South Carolina was the only state to elect someone to that office.[2]

Election results

South Carolina Amendment 2
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 666,963 56.38%
No515,97043.62%

Election results via: [Election results via: South Carolina State Election Commission

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text was as follows:[1]

Must Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution of this State relating to state constitutional officers and Section 4, Article XIII relating to the Adjutant General and his staff officers be amended so as to update references to his title; to provide that the position of Adjutant General is recognized as holding the rank of Major General, as opposed to Brigadier General; to provide that upon the expiration of the term of the Adjutant General serving in office on the date of the ratification of this provision, the Adjutant General must be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed Adjutant General serve for a term not coterminous with the Governor and may be removed only for cause; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the term, duties, compensation, and qualifications for office, the procedures by which the appointment is made, and the procedures by which the Adjutant General may be removed from office?

Yes [ ]
No [ ][3]

Constitutional changes

The amendment altered Section 7 of Article VI and Section 4 of Article XIII of the Constitution of South Carolina:[1]

[Article VI] Section 7. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State a Secretary of State, an Attorney General, a Treasurer, a Superintendent of Education, Comptroller General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and an Adjutant General who shall hold their respective offices for a term of four years, coterminous with that of the Governor. The duties and compensation of such offices shall be prescribed by law and their compensation shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected

Beginning upon the expiration of the term of the Adjutant General serving in office on the date of the ratification of the provisions of this paragraph, the Adjutant General must be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate. The appointed Adjutant General shall serve for a term not coterminous with the Governor and may be removed only for cause. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the term, duties, compensation, and qualifications for office, the procedures by which the appointment is made, and the procedures by which the Adjutant General may be removed from office.[3]


[Article XIII] Section 4. There shall must be an Adjutant and Inspector General elected by the qualified electors of the State at the same time and in the same manner as other state officers, who shall rank as Brigadier. The position of Adjutant General is recognized as holding the rank of Major General, and whose the Adjutant General's duties and compensation shall must be prescribed by law. The Governor shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint such other staff officers as the General Assembly may direct.

Beginning upon the expiration of the term of the Adjutant General serving in office on the date of the ratification of the provisions of this paragraph, the Adjutant General must be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, in the manner provided in Section 7, Article VI.[3]


Support

South Carolina Vote Yes Amendment 2 2014.png

The campaign in support of the amendment was led by Troops Leading Troops![4] The campaign organization was launched by the state's Democratic Party and Republican Party.[5]

Supporters

Amendment 2 received unanimous support in the South Carolina Senate and the support of all but one voting representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Officials

Organizations

Arguments

Jaime Harrison, Chairman of the SC Democratic Party, and Matt Moore, Chairman of the SC Republican Party, called on voters to support Amendment 2. They stated:

As Chairmen of our respective political parties, we don’t always agree – especially during election season! But Amendment 2 is a great exception. That’s why we’ve teamed up to let South Carolinians know about an important decision on the November 4th ballot. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or independent, we all should agree that politics should not decide the leader of our state National Guard. We must ensure that only a qualified person of the highest caliber can be appointed to lead our brave men and women in uniform. Please join us in voting for Troops Leading Troops – vote YES on Amendment 2![3]

—Jaime Harrison and Matt Moore[4]

Robert E. Livingston, Jr. (R), the state's Adjutant General, argued that electing the state's top military official could lead to a very non-professional individual with little experience in that position. He elaborated:

The people of South Carolina have an opportunity to support their Military Members by professionalizing the method of selecting their leaders. South Carolina is the only legitimate military in the world that stills popularly elects its leaders. While we have selected good leaders in the past, we cannot apply qualifications to an elected position. The amendment for appointments carries strict qualifications for the position to ensure our Military has the best leader possible. Our Military Members deserve a predictable system under the control of civilian government versus the current system that allows chance to possibly provide a improper leader.[3]

—Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.[4]

Other arguments in favor of the amendment include:

  • Sen. Larry Martin (R-2) said, "We've been pretty well served with the election process, but you might not be so fortunate down the road. It just makes good sense. You want a career person who has a very good working relationship with the U.S. military leading our National Guard."[7]

Opposition

Rep. Liston Barfield (R-58) was the sole legislator to vote against the amendment.[8]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of South Carolina ballot measures, 2014

Support

  • The Charleston Post and Courier said, "In the case of the adjutant general, a "yes" vote on the ballot measure will ensure competent leadership for the state's top military position into the future. Again, that should be an easy choice to make."[9]
  • The Greenville News said, "Our state has been blessed with some good adjutant generals, including the current officeholder, Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston. Having a military professional with solid training in the position has not been a given, however, and in many instances a primary or general election ballot has featured a totally unqualified candidate who lacked the training, experience and temperament for the position."[10]
  • Spartanburg Herald Journal said, "In order to act quickly and properly in an emergency, the governor needs to be familiar with emergency plans and procedures. Making the adjutant general an appointed position will put emergency planning under the governor’s control and make the state’s chief executive better equipped for the next hurricane or disaster."[11]

Path to the ballot

South Carolina Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIVIII-AIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVII
See also: Amending the South Carolina Constitution

The amendment required approval by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the South Carolina Legislature to be placed on the ballot. HB 3541 was approved in the South Carolina Senate on May 20, 2014. The bill was approved for a final time in the South Carolina House on May 27, 2014.[8] Since the amendment was approved by voters, it was to be sent back to the legislature for a second approval before becoming law.

Senate vote

May 20, 2014 Senate vote

South Carolina HB 3541 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 39 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

May 27, 2014 House vote

South Carolina HB 3541 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 100 99.01%
No10.99%

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

Basic information

Support

Additional reading

References