Magistrate Mike Pitts’s posts were not discussed during his June confirmation by South Carolina lawmakers, according to a joint investigation by the news outlets.
They reported that in May, for example, Pitts posted an image of presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) captioned: “Cory Booker alway [sic] looks like he just hit crack real hard.”
Pitts also posted in 2017 complaining about people “from the Middle East” in Walmart, writing “after being subject to this incident I now support shutting down all immigration until we stop the demise of our culture.”
He also reportedly wrote that transgender people “aren’t sure what the hell they are,” and he defended the Confederate flag when he served in the state House, according to the news outlets.
Pitts did not respond to phone and email messages from ProPublica and the Post and Courier, the publications noted.
The publications also noted that unlike South Carolina’s felony and appellate court judges, magistrates are not subjected to legislative hearings before lawmakers sign off on their appointments, which allows new recruits to escape public scrutiny.