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Time for South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Toal to Retire

January 27th, 2014 - 7:04 am

I am a member of bar associations in two different states, so I get to compare and contrast how each state is run. I was shocked to learn today that South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal is seeking re-election at the age of 70, even with her recent history of appearing in the news for matters other than court opinions. It’s time for South Carolina Chief Justice Toal to retire and let air breathe into the South Carolina judiciary.

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Jean Toal is a former Democrat strong-arming legislator. Her legislative tendencies have from time to time carried over into her management of the bar and judiciary in South Carolina. She is not beyond calling a state trial-court judge on the phone to ride herd on a local nuisance which could impair her broader legislative agenda, even though she is no longer in the legislature. Some trial judges in the state who are not firmly in her camp have found themselves riding circuit to the far swampy corners of the state, many miles from their home base.

Simply, it’s time for South Carolina to a have a Supreme Court chief who behaves more like Chief Justice John Roberts and less like Huey Long.

I get materials from two different state bar associations mailed to me regularly. Nearly every piece of mail from the South Carolina Bar Association is stamped prominently with the face of Jean Toal — almost as if she is running a political campaign, which now, of course, she is. I reported on this phenomena in the local newspaper some years ago. Afterwards, bar mailings with her mug abated, for a time. But now they are back.

A typical South Carolina Bar direct mail piece.

A typical South Carolina Bar direct mail piece.

The legislature in South Carolina elects judges. The legislature is overwhelmingly Republican. (The Myrtle Beach Sun News reports on a hot race between Jean Toal and sitting Justice Costa Pleicones.)

Toal is famous for being reversed by the United States Supreme Court. One famous reversal was delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council – in that case, Toal ruled that South Carolina could prohibit a landowner from erecting an oceanfront house as long as a state deemed it improper to build, even if the landowner invested their life savings into the property for a home. Toal’s opinion reasoned that the owner could still enjoy some use of the property — like having picnics. 

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Top Rated Comments   
'more like john Roberts' you say?

you mean the impartial u.s.s.c. justice who helped draft/change obama care and then vote against everything ethical in the real world to foist that abomination upon Americans, thereby requiring us to buy a product? that john roberts?

its a pitiful day when lawyers can't find an honest man among their ranks to hold up as a man to be emulated. imho, affirmative action babies like this woman are exactly what we expected the future to hold. unmitigated disaster they all are. dem. women are real lookers, in a jurassic sort of way.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Some of her recent decisions need review. It would seem that she does not always adhere well to law which is her job.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
She/he reminds me of "Pat". The democrat party seems to be the party of gender ambiguity.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
RESTORE THE INTEGRITY OF OUR SUPREME COURT - Elect Costa Pleicones
- Sign the Petition!
Please join this campaign: http://chn.ge/1edAsal (Change . Org Petition)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess Ms. Chief Justice should seriously take into consideration her President's comment that pot is not any worse than alcohol and switch to a new drug of choice.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did the NSA spy on Chief Justice Roberts?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
yeah, that's just what we need, another john roberts. another freakin' harvard law school moron. just like both obamas.


38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
'more like john Roberts' you say?

you mean the impartial u.s.s.c. justice who helped draft/change obama care and then vote against everything ethical in the real world to foist that abomination upon Americans, thereby requiring us to buy a product? that john roberts?

its a pitiful day when lawyers can't find an honest man among their ranks to hold up as a man to be emulated. imho, affirmative action babies like this woman are exactly what we expected the future to hold. unmitigated disaster they all are. dem. women are real lookers, in a jurassic sort of way.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a ..woman????????????????????
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hard to imagine a republican controlled legislature in a southern state, or elsewhere for that matter, to put up with such cronyism and corruption from a democrat....she must have dirt on EVERYBODY. Apparently, the pusillanimous nature of the national republican establishment is being mirrored at the state level....except in Texas and Alabama.

Remember BENGHAZI!
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just a small snapshot of things that go on all over this country. Every small town has a story of a judge or a policeman being given preferential treatment because of who they are and who they work with. And who they might help in return.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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