South Carolina lawmakers defeated S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal’s handpicked choice for an at-large family court seat by a single vote earlier this week – a surprising rebuke of one of the state’s most influential public figures.
Longtime S.C. Judicial Department administrator Rosalyn Frierson – whose candidacy Toal aggressively (and controversially) endorsed – lost to attorney Kelly Pope by an 83-82 vote during a joint session of the S.C. General Assembly on Wednesday.
And if you think that was close, the first vote between Frierson and Pope was a tie.
Who broke the deadlock? S.C. Rep. Steve Moss (RINO-Cherokee).
Adding insult to injury, Toal was with Frierson in the gallery of the S.C. House of Representatives when the votes went down – expecting to celebrate her victory.
According to our legislative sources this race sucked a lot of oxygen out of the S.C. State House over the last few weeks. In fact we’re told Frierson supporters – led by S.C. Sen. Gerald Malloy – are already hard at work plotting revenge against lawmakers who allegedly “betrayed” Toal.
Fun times …
Anyway, we didn’t have a dog in this fight. We wrote about Toal’s advocacy because we found it highly inappropriate – not because we felt Frierson was unqualified for this seat (although the S.C. Bar did find her unqualified).
As we’ve said all along lawmakers shouldn’t elect judges in this state – judges should be appointed by governors with the advise and consent of the State Senate.