SC elects second black chief justice

by | May 25, 2016 4:18 pm

Last Updated: May 28, 2016 at 8:56 am

Legislators have elected South Carolina’s second black chief justice since Reconstruction.
Associate Justice Don Beatty will replace Chief Justice Costa Pleicones, who must retire Dec. 31 because he’s reached the mandatory retirement age of 72. Beatty was the only person running to be the next chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The 64-year-old Beatty has been on the state’s high court since 2007. His term as chief justice runs to July 2024.
Some Republicans sought another candidate. They criticized two of Beatty’s opinions as “judicial overreach.” But no one else applied for the job.
In 1994, Ernest Finney Jr. became South Carolina’s first black chief justice since Reconstruction. He retired in 2000.
Beatty has also been nominated to be a federal judge.
Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, applauded Beatty’s election.
“I am proud to have been able to support him,” he said. “This is a historical day in the S.C. General Assembly.”
Associate Justice John Few was also unanimously re-elected to his position on the state’s highest court Wednesday.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Moye Graham

    May 25, 2016 at 20:16

    Glad to see Judge Beatty get this position. He was also nominated by President Obama for a Federal Judgeship and it has been held up. Judge Beatty is a good man and a good choice. While there may have been a couple of Republicans in the senate that would had liked someone else because they thought he had over reached if it had not been for the Republicans in the senate he would not had been elected to this position. There was plenty of time left and the state could had functioned with an open position for awhile. Very few senators on both sides of the aisle was not in favor of Judge Beatty. I would like to see another way of electing the Chief Judge in SC and not the Legislators. They have enough power already.

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