South Carolina Supreme Court Decisions

Located in Columbia, the South Carolina Supreme Court holds exclusive appellate jurisdiction over cases involving the death penalty, elections, state utility rates, and certain situations related to state grand juries and abortions by minors. It also holds original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus and certiorari, as well as extraordinary bills. The Supreme Court supervises the legal profession in South Carolina, including disciplinary proceedings for attorneys. It consists of five justices, who are selected according to the unusual method of legislative election. Only one other state in the U.S. uses the legislative election method.

Before the legislature votes on a candidate for the Supreme Court, the Judicial Merit Selection Commission must develop a list of candidates by referring to the requirements in Section 2-19-135(A) of the South Carolina Constitution. These include the character, reputation, physical and mental health, ethical fitness, professional ability, and experience of each prospective candidate. The two chambers of the legislature vote together to select a candidate from the list provided by the Commission. Once they are elected, a justice serves a term of 10 years.

The South Carolina Constitution provides three ways to remove a justice. Under Article XV, they may be removed if they are impeached by a two-thirds vote of the South Carolina House of Representatives and convicted by a two-thirds vote of the South Carolina Senate. The Governor of South Carolina also may remove a justice upon the address of two-thirds of each house of the legislature. Finally, the Supreme Court may remove a justice under Article V, Section 15 if the justice has engaged in judicial misconduct or has a disability that is likely to be permanent and seriously interfere with their duties. Before removing a justice, the Supreme Court will appoint a commission on judicial conduct to investigate a complaint. This commission will hold a hearing if the investigation shows sufficient evidence of a disability or misconduct. It may recommend removal to the Supreme Court, which will decide whether to remove the justice.

Browse Opinions From the South Carolina Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the South Carolina Supreme Court
Mosley v. Alston
Date: October 21, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-010
Ex parte Hartford Fire v. Centex Homes
Date: October 21, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-011
In the Matter of Richard G. Wern
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 27998
In the Matter of Kimberly L. Smith
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 27999
Adams v. McMaster  
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 28000

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented in this declaratory action before the South Carolina Supreme Court in its original jurisdiction was a challenge to the constitutionality of Governor Henry McMaster's allocation of $32 million in feder...

Halsey v. Simmons  
Date: September 30, 2020
Docket Number: 27997

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners' real property was sold at a delinquent tax sale. They filed an action in circuit court to challenge the sale, and all parties consented to have the case referred to a special referee for trial. Petitioners a...

State v. Morales
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-009
Duggins v. Lucas
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: 27996
Grays Hill Baptist Church v. Beaufort County  
Date: September 16, 2020
Docket Number: 27995

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from Beaufort County, South Carolina's refusal to issue Grays Hill Baptist Church a construction permit to build a fellowship hall adjacent to its existing sanctuary. The court of appeals reversed the m...

Rivero v. Loftis
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-008
Crenshaw v. Erskine College  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 27993

Justia Opinion Summary: William Crenshaw, a tenured professor of English at Erskine College, filed suit claiming he was wrongfully fired. A jury found in favor of Dr. Crenshaw and awarded him $600,000. However, after review of the College's app...

SC Coastal Conservation League v. Dominion Energy  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 27994

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a Public Service Commission order setting rates an electric utility had to pay to solar and other qualifying renewable energy producers for electricity the utility will then sell to its customer...

Sanders v. So. Carolina Dept. Motor Veh.  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27990

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended Bradley Sanders' driver's license pursuant to South Carolina's implied consent statute after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test following his arrest fo...

Weaver v. Recreation District  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27991

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Don Weaver brought a declaratory judgment action to challenge the constitutionality of S.C. Code Ann. section 6-11-271 (2004), which addressed the millage levied in certain special purpose districts. Appellant...

South Carolina v. Washington  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27992

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Sha'quille Washington was indicted for the murder of Herman Manigault and was convicted of the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter. The court of appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction. The Sout...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.