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South Carolina Supreme Court facts for kids

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Supreme Court of South Carolina
SCSupreme CourtSeal.jpg
Established 1841
Country  South Carolina
Location Columbia
Composition method Election by the General Assembly
Authorized by S.C. Const. art. V, §§ 1-2
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length Ten years, staggered
Number of positions 5
Website Supreme Court
Chief Justice
Currently Donald W. Beatty
Since February 1, 2017
Lead position ends 2027
Jurist term ends 2024

The South Carolina Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The court is composed of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices.

Selection of Justices

Judges are selected by the legislature of South Carolina to serve terms of ten years. There is no prohibition against justices serving multiple terms on the court. However, there is a mandatory retirement age of 72 for state trial judges and state appellate judges in South Carolina.

Current Justices of the Court

Justice Born Joined the Court Current term ends Reaches age 72 Law School
Donald W. Beatty, Chief Justice 1952 (age 70–71) May 23, 2007 (as Associate Justice}
February 1, 2017 (as Chief)
2024 2024 South Carolina
John W. Kittredge (1956-09-28) September 28, 1956 (age 66) August 1, 2008 2028 2028
Kaye Gorenflo Hearn (1950-01-30) January 30, 1950 (age 73) January 14, 2010 2022 2022
John Cannon Few (1963-04-09) April 9, 1963 (age 59) January 1, 2016 2026 2035
George C. James (1960-06-02) June 2, 1960 (age 62) February 2017 2030 2032


Supreme Court of South Carolina Building
Supreme Court of South Carolina Building, December 2009
South Carolina Supreme Court is located in South Carolina
South Carolina Supreme Court
Location in South Carolina
South Carolina Supreme Court is located in the United States
South Carolina Supreme Court
Location in the United States
Location 1231 Gervais St.,
Columbia, South Carolina
Area 0.5 acres (0.20 ha)
Built 1917 (1917)–1921
Architect Gill & Wilkins; Andrew V. Kerns
NRHP reference No. 72001220
Added to NRHP October 18, 1972

The Supreme Court of South Carolina Building is located in the state capital of Columbia. The court moved into its current location, a former United States Post Office building, in 1971. It was built between 1917 and 1921, and is a two-story, Neo-Classical style building. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. Prior to 1971, the court met in a section of the South Carolina State House in an area totaling approximately 1,400 square feet (130 m2); the justices did not have individual offices, but instead met in a common conference room when not presiding over a session of court.

Controversy arose in late 2007 after The State newspaper reported that the Supreme Court reversed the grades of 20 people who failed the South Carolina bar exam, including children of prominent attorneys, by voiding the results of the wills, trusts, and estates section of the exam.

From 1930 to 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court has had 17 Chief Justices.

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