SC Supreme Court: A Totally Pointless Race

DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHICH GERIATRIC LIBERAL LEADS THIS COURT? Over the last few days we’ve been bombarded with tips related to the ongoing battle between Jean Toal and Costa Pleicones – a pair of aging, left-of-center judges who are vying for the position of chief justice of the S.C….


Over the last few days we’ve been bombarded with tips related to the ongoing battle between Jean Toal and Costa Pleicones – a pair of aging, left-of-center judges who are vying for the position of chief justice of the S.C. Supreme Court.

For those of you who care, this race is headed for a photo finish two weeks from now … with both Toal and Pleicones twisting every arm they can find in an effort to gain leverage in this battle of geriatrics.

And while the sitting chief justice, Toal, appeared to have things in hand earlier this week, sources tell FITS there has been some late movement toward Pleicones (who is favored by “conservative” members of the S.C. General Assembly).

“Lots of people are leaning toward Costa,” one S.C. House member told us.


We don’t care. And neither should you.

First (and most importantly), there is virtually no ideological distinction we can decipher between these two judges – meaning the outcome of this race isn’t going to change the liberal lean of this court one iota.  That’s only going to happen when so-called “Republicans” stop appointing liberals to the bench …

Second, the impetus for this race is personal – not philosophical. Pleicones is running against Toal because she lied to him about her plans to retire (thus depriving him of a brief tenure as chief justice).

It’s a spat, in other words. A grudge. One which has absolutely nothing to do with the issues facing our state.

And whichever judge wins, they’ll be facing a mandatory retirement well before their ten-year term is up (assuming they want their retirement benefits). Toal would have eighteen months before she hit that limit, while Pleicones would have approximately two-and-a-half years.

So … to all of those at the S.C. State House encouraging us to climb aboard the “Kill the Queen” bandwagon (a reference to Toal’s nickname, “Queen Jean”), we would simply say this: What makes you think her replacement will be any better?

Both of these judges are old. Both are liberal. And both have been acting like cheap whores over the last few weeks, prostrating themselves at the feet of ethically challenged state lawmakers eager to sell their influence to the highest bidder.  In fact this whole ugly episode is precisely why we believe judges at all levels in South Carolina should be appointed by the state’s governor, not elected by its legislature.

The S.C. General Assembly is simply too corrupt to be trusted with such responsibility …

So there … we said it. We don’t care who the next S.C. Supreme Court chief justice is, and neither should you. It just doesn’t matter.

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aeb January 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Although it ain’t saying much in this “red” state, if I had to pick who would be a better justice for the business community, Pleicones would be my choice by a country mile. While on the other hand and admittedly casting a large generalization, Beatty, Toal and Hearn are openly hostile to business interests.

indeed January 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

And openly hostile to defendants in the tort system in genral – in addition to actually knowing the law, Plecones appears to understand and apply it as well – Toal/Beatty – eh, not so much.

BiggieTea January 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Fits, you’re right that it really won’t change the ideological leanings of this court. (The real race to watch is for whoever replaces Toal/Pleicones.) But sometime, just once in this state’s crooked history, it would be nice to see a nice guy win over an asshole. Pleicones is a liberal but at least he’s basically honest. The Chief? Well, her record speaks for itself.

Mike at the Beach January 22, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Of course it matters, just not for jurisprudential or ideological reasons. It’s time for the Queen to go (has been for a long while), and if this thing goes the right way it shaves 18 months off of the tail end of her tyrannical rule. Karma says she needs to suffer at least one more little (or not so little) defeat on her way out, and this would suffice.

venomachine January 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Toal’s gotta go. may not matter to FITS, but it matters to me.

The Enquirer January 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Why does it matter to you?

CL January 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Kittredge for CJ.

Landrum January 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Not a chance in hell that happen. Got a backache? He’s got a pill for it……He is so out of it, he just follows along with the last person in his office who told him what to do.

Daniel January 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

But for when he is preparing his little Sunday School lesson for the elite at First Pres in Greenville. How in God’s name did this guy even get on the SCSC?

itdontmatter January 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

perhaps they could settle this with a drinking contest. First on to pass out (or on) loses. If neither passes out, there would be a dui driving contest…..

just another guy January 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

But if Toal loses, does that not open a spot up on the SCOSC? So hopefully they would be able to install a moderate or conservative onto the court. So that could change the makeup of the court. Where is Toal wins, nothing changes on the people on the court. Am I missing something?

Toal for Undertaker January 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

“this race is headed for a photo finish”

Doesn’t Toal lose by default if this is the case? Is there a camera in existence that doesn’t shatter when taking her picture?

quietly watching January 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Doesn’t matter??? Regardless of the stakes when right battles wrong there is only one side to pull for. Besides, why wait two more years for a chance to put in a conservative judge? She loses and we can put one in THIS YEAR! Not 2016!
Even how she is working this race tells you who she is. Her story was that she had over 100 commitments in the bag and she did not. There are judges calling people and working the lobby on her behalf. She scheduled court this week so that he would be tied up and she was free to work the statehouse.
Costa on the other hand has been a gentleman the whole way. He is and has always been a class act even if I don’t always agree with him I respect him.

utah January 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

“She scheduled court this week so that he would be tied up and she was free to work the statehouse.”

If Pleicones is in Court, so is Toal.

Edgar January 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm

DOESN’T MATTER????? Are you kidding me??? It’s a matter of honesty and integrity. Pleicones is not the liberal you paint, good Lord, he went to Wofford, and that has been a Toal story for a couple of months. Jean Toal is a lying, corrupt, self serving narcissist – if not sociopath – that has caused this state untold embarrassment. The underhandedness and lying she has shown in the past six weeks, ALONE, should cause every legislator to pause and ask, “What the hell am I doing if I support her?”

Every legislator who votes for Toal will have to answer, WHY?, if they intend to stay in politics.

This is not one of your better articles,

Fits Aint No Republican January 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Fits is subtly jumping on the Toal bandwagon.If you are not for the challenger,then you are,in effect, saying keeping the incumbent is ok.Not surprising really.Thats how he operates.

My God, hes been blasting Toal for YEARS.Now, well ,no big deal?The suckers are thise who buy into his non Republican schtick.

In fact he is about as “Republican” as one can get,

CNSYD January 22, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Plus Haley, per Sic Willie, is the Devil incarnate but he thinks the Governor should appoint the Justices instead of the GA as the GA is corrupt. I thought he told us the Governor was corrupt.

Jimbo January 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm

This is such a stupid article, Sic. Toal is a crook, liar and worse. She treats all judges and lawyers like her servants. Her sense of entitlement to glory is horrible. She’s a bully. Pleicones is a gentleman, is honest and has the state’s best interest at heart. He will restore some degree of integrity to the SC BAR – of which there is NONE now. You obviously haven’t had Toal screw over one of your judge friends or one of your lawyers like the rest of us have.

Dr. Phil January 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm

“You obviously haven’t had Toal screw over one of your judge friends or one of your lawyers”

I know you might not quite be aware of what you are saying, but if you expect to garner support for Pleicones by suggesting that fewer lawyers will be screwed as a result-well, that might not work with the general public. Most of them like watching lawyers screw each other. If that were the case, Toal would be a shoe in.

Anyway, the whole battle is a corrupted stench pile. Let’s not pretend either of these people are “decent”. Who ever wins will have done so in the most underhanded manner possible appealing to an assembly of high level sociopaths. Sounds like a prize handed out in an asylum to me.

Legal Beagle January 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm

True Jimbo!

Jesus H. Christ! January 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

We don’t care. And neither should you.

That must be why you KEEP POSTING ABOUT IT.

Thomas January 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm

There must be some decisions, hearings, opinions, appointments that CJ Toal and her ilk have their eyes on in the next 18 months. Her decision to stay on certainly was not based on shutting out Costa unless certain circles did not want him to influence upcoming cases, appointments, hearings, or decisions. Think, what is on the docket, expected to be on the docket, and any decisions or appointments that will be made for purely political reasons.

Tired of the BS January 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Another situation of “lesser of the evils”!
We find ourselves in this prediciment, all too often.
Pleconis is the lesser of the evils here. Toal has abused her position and power too long.
She needs to be retired, by force of the votes against her, just like Cong. Wilson, Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Graham, and Cong. Clyburn!

Observant January 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm

It really is a shame that Bubba Ness’ “clerk” (Kaye Hearn) can not even be considered for Chief Justice because of the “political niceties”.

Considering “Bubba” [who called himself “Sweet Old Bubba” (S.O.B. for short)] was the LAST CJ who really governed the Judicial Branch (“a disbarment is permanent – a suspension can be finite”) was the person who probably influenced Justice Hearn the most, then, if the existing Judiciary (read “Supreme Court”) is to be restored to respectability, then only Justice Hearn has the background and training so to do.

Many of us on the “right” side of the law bemoaned the elevation of “Bubba” to the Supreme Court, because it left many of the enforcement agencies bereft of someone on the Circuit Court who would insist that cases be called (e.g. when he issued a bench order to arrest all of the lawyers in a “certain” county to appear for an afternoon session of court so that trials could be held). [There was a big game among lawyers to avoid bringing defenants before Bubba, who was known as a “hanging judge” because of his (usually) stiff sentences].

Dorothy January 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Kaye? Your first husband called. He wants to know if you are spending the night with George over at Sims Alley or are you coming home tonight?

Yean, she’s the one you want “judging” your family court case.

Constantine January 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Wait so the General Assembly is too corrupt to pick judges in this state but the executive branch is not? How exactly does that logic work?

Judith January 25, 2014 at 9:12 am

Has anybody seen a positive, constructive comment about Jean Toal on this website in months? Occasionally, one of her little whores that work for her will babble something about how smart she is and progressive and some such nonsense, but there has been nothing. Perhaps, even her “supporters” know the truth. She’s a corrupt, power hungry, lying bitch that needs to be put out to pasture. There are some senators who have also noticed this absence of any positive support for Toal on these “silly blog things” as one senator call Fits this past week. The support Toal is claiming in the senate is not that strong. Interesting also is there are some cracks in the usual solid support Toal has with the Black Caucus. They are tired of having their votes just taken for granted by Toal.


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