South Carolina Republicans Back An Anti-Trump, Pro-Abortion Judge

South Carolina Republican lawmakers face a revolt from state Freedom Caucus members this week for pushing an anti-Trump, pro-abortion, former Democrat to fill a vacancy for a circuit court judge in the state’s 5th Judicial Circuit.

Republicans in the South Carolina legislature have tapped James Smith for circuit court judge despite his lack of Republican credentials. He was the 2018 Democrat nominee to run for governor and served as the Democrat leader of South Carolina’s House of Representatives.

The South Carolina Freedom Caucus excoriated Smith in comments made to the Daily Signal this week. “This judicial race highlights exactly why South Carolina desperately needs both a reformed judicial system and more reform-minded, true conservatives in the South Carolina General Assembly,” said State Freedom Caucus Network Director Evan Newman.

“The fact that a pro-Planned Parenthood, former Bernie Sanders-supported Democrat candidate for governor is the chosen candidate by the Republican establishment is laughable and should serve as a warning to all ‘red’ states that just because someone has an ‘R’ by their name, doesn’t mean they are actually representing your values,” Newman added.

A Planned Parenthood affiliate described Smith as a “vocal supporter and advocate for Planned Parenthood.” The Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic organization (PPVSAT) endorsed Smith when he ran for governor of South Carolina.

As a result of his pro-abortion record as a Democrat politician in South Carolina, the pro-life group Citizens for Life says that it will lower its pro-life score for any lawmakers who vote for Smith.

“Citizens for Life strongly opposes pro-abortion activist James Smith for a judgeship on the Circuit Court of South Carolina. We intend to score the vote. A vote for James Smith will be scored as an anti-life, pro-abortion vote,” read a press release from South Carolina Citizens for Life Executive Director Holly Gatling.

Smith is also a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and supported former State Secretary Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign. Yet FITSNews reported earlier this week that, “Smith has earned the support of a majority of ‘Republican’ lawmakers in his bid for a S.C. circuit court judgeship.”