South Carolina Appointment of Adjutant General, Amendment 2 (2014)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of the measure
- 3 Support
- 4 Opposition
- 5 Media editorial positions
- 6 Path to the ballot
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 Additional reading
- 10 References
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.”
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.
|South Carolina Amendment 2|
Election results via: [Election results via: South Carolina State Election Commission
Text of the measure
The official ballot text was as follows:
|“|| 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 [ ]
| [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.
| [Article XIII] Section 4. There |
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.
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!||”|
—Jaime Harrison and Matt Moore
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.||”|
—Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.
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."
Media editorial positions
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
Path to the ballot
|South Carolina Constitution|
|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • VIII-A • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII|
- 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. Since the amendment was approved by voters, it was to be sent back to the legislature for a second approval before becoming law.
May 20, 2014 Senate vote
|South Carolina HB 3541 Senate Vote|
May 27, 2014 House vote
|South Carolina HB 3541 House Vote|
- South Carolina General Assembly, "Bill 3541 Text," accessed May 28, 2014
- WLTX 19, "No More Electing the Adjutant General?," May 20, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Troops Leading Troops!, "Homepage," accessed October 21, 2014
- The State, "GOP, Dems launch campaign to appoint S.C. military leader," October 21, 2014
- The State, "SC adjutant general step closer to becoming appointed job," May 20, 2014
- Washington Times, "Voters could decide if South Carolina's top military officer is appointed," May 21, 2014
- South Carolina Legislature, "H. 3541 Status Information," accessed May 21, 2014
- The Charleston Post and Courier, "Make adjutant general appointive," October 19, 2014
- The Greenville News, "Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ for two SC amendments," October 21, 2014
- Spartanburg Herald Journal, "Both constitutional amendments on ballot would bring needed change," August 17, 2014
State of South Carolina
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