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
Duke Energy Carolinas v. SC Office of Regulatory Staff
Date: October 27, 2021
Docket Number: 28066
Elders v. State
Date: October 20, 2021
Docket Number: 2021-MO-011
In the Matter of Kenneth E. Johns, Jr.
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 28064
Brannon v. McMaster
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 28065
Richland County School District 2 v. Lucas  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 28063

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Supreme Court granted petitioners' request for a declaration with respect to Provisos 1.108 and 1.103 of the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act1 were invalid. Proviso 1.108 (enacted June 22, 2021,) was direc...

Stasi v. Sweigart  
Date: September 22, 2021
Docket Number: 28058

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was a family court order terminating Mallory Sweigart's parental rights to her nine-year-old daughter. The court of appeals reversed, finding Mallory had not "wilfully failed to visit the child,"...

In the Matter of Kenneth Philip Shabel
Date: September 22, 2021
Docket Number: 28059
In the Matter of Christopher Lance Sheek
Date: September 22, 2021
Docket Number: 28060
In the Matter of Shawn M. Campbell
Date: September 22, 2021
Docket Number: 28061
Pinckney v. Peeler  
Date: September 22, 2021
Docket Number: 28062

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Jennifer Pinckney, Howard Duvall, and Kay Patterson challenged the constitutionality of section 10-1-165 of the South Carolina Code (2011). Petitioners also sought an injunction prohibiting enforcement of sec...

Singh v. Singh  
Date: September 8, 2021
Docket Number: 28057

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Simran Singh (Mother) and Petitioner Gunjit Singh (Father) separated in January of 2012. They entered into a settlement agreement which resolved all issues arising from their marriage, including custody and vi...

Wilson v. City of Columbia  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: 28056

Justia Opinion Summary: South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sought a declaration by the South Carolina Supreme Court concerning the use of facemasks in the public schools of South Carolina during the coronavirus pandemic. The Court cons...

In re Application of Carolina Water Service, Inc.
Date: September 1, 2021
Docket Number: 2021-MO-010
In re Application of Blue Granite  
Date: September 1, 2021
Docket Number: 28055

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) was a quasi-judicial body established by the South Carolina General Assembly, to which the legislature delegated "power and jurisdiction to supervise and regulate the ra...

In the Matter of Daniel Crawford Patterson
Date: August 25, 2021
Docket Number: 28054
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.