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SC Chief Justice Race: Improper Pressure

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Former S.C. Rep. George Hearn (RINO-Conway, S.C.) is pressuring lawmakers from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina to support the reelection bid of S.C. chief justice Jean Toal, multiple sources have confirmed to FITS.

Hearn is reportedly telling lawmakers that he is acting on behalf of his wife – Supreme Court justice Kaye Hearn, who is one of Toal’s closest allies on the state’s corrupt high court.

Hearn, incidentally, was chairman of the S.C. Bar Exam committee during the infamous 2007 “bar exam scam,” in which Toal’s court arbitrarily threw out an entire section of the test in an effort to artificially inflate the passage rate of the struggling Charleston School of Law (CSOL).

In addition to Hearn’s advocacy, sources tell FITS justice Donald W. Beatty – another Democrat elected by the state’s “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly – has pledged to secure votes for Toal from the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus.

As FITS exclusively reported earlier this year, Toal backed out of her promise not to seek another term as chief justice – infuriating her fellow justice Costa Pleicones, who had been promised a stint as chief justice prior to his forthcoming retirement.

Pleicones has responded to Toal’s deception by running against her for the chief justice’s seat.

A hearing on the qualifications of both justices will be held in November.

As we’ve noted on numerous prior occasions, the process of selecting judges in South Carolina is even more corrupt that the courts themselves. Judges – from magistrates on up – should be selected by gubernatorial appointment, not legislative election.

“Judges should be appointed by the state’s chief executive – period,” we wrote recently. “And they should be allowed to serve as long as they want … barring some demonstrated incapacitation. Otherwise we end up with an endless cycle of favor-trading.”

Like the favor-trading that’s going on right now as Toal and Pleicones seek to curry favor with lawmakers …