In Case No. 2002-0210, Petition of Representative Peter Burling & a., the court on June 7, 2002, issued the following order:

By order dated May 30, 2002, this court notified the parties of its intent to appoint Mr. Bobby Bowers, Director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board Office of Research and Statistics, as its technical advisor in this case to assist the court in understanding and utilizing relevant technology to enable the court to fulfill on an expedited basis its constitutional responsibility to establish a reapportionment plan for the House of Representatives. It did so due to its firm conviction that this case is an "extraordinary [one] where the introduction of outside skills and expertise, not possessed by the judge, will hasten the just adjudication of a dispute without dislodging the delicate balance of the juristic role." Reilly v. United States, 863 F.2d 149, 156 (1st Cir. 1988). Mr. Bowers served as a technical advisor to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in a number of redistricting cases, see Colleton County Council, et al v. Glenn F. McConnell, et al., No. 01-3581-10 (D.S.C. Mar. 20, 2002); Burton v. Sheheen, 793 F. Supp. 1329, 1339 (D.S.C. 1992), vacated sub nom., State Reapportionment Advisory Committee v. Theodore, 508 U.S. 968 (1993), and he has extensive experience in this area.

The parties were ordered to advise the court in writing of any objections to the proposed appointment of Mr. Bowers, and the reasons therefore on or before June 5, 2002. To date, no such objection has been filed by any party to the court’s proposed course of action.

ACCORDINGLY, the court hereby appoints Mr. Bobby Bowers, Director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board Office of Research and Statistics, as its technical advisor in this cases. In his capacity as the court’s technical advisor, Mr. Bowers will be called upon to assist the court in educating itself in the technical language of redistricting and mapping and in the technology employed by the parties and their technical experts; to act as a liaison, if necessary, between the court and the parties’ technical experts; and to assist the court in understanding and analyzing the proposed redistricting plans submitted by the parties. Mr. Bowers will advise the court in camera, as requested, concerning any technical matters. To the extent necessary for resolution of this matter, Mr. Bowers may also be called upon to assist in drawing a redistricting plan for the court, but only in accordance with the directives of the court.

Throughout this litigation, Mr. Bowers will act as a sounding board for the court’s assessment of the plans submitted by the parties and will function as a confidential advisor to the court analogous to the role performed by the court’s judicial clerks. He is appointed only as a technical advisor to the court pursuant to the inherent discretion of the court, see Reilly, 863 F.2d 149; he is not appointed as an expert. He will not act as a finder of fact, nor will he attempt to advise the court on any matter of law. Neither he nor staff members acting at his direction may be subjected to cross-examination, and all confidential computer and other confidential files of Mr. Bowers and his staff prepared in connection with this case, like those of the court, shall be protected from demands for production or disclosure.

Brock, C.J., and Nadeau, Dalianis and Duggan, JJ., concurred.

Eileen Fox,