Toal Wins Reelection As SC Chief Justice

By a 95-74 margin, S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal won reelection to her post this week – fending off a credible challenge from associate justice Costa Pleicones. That means the 70-year-old former liberal activist will lead the state’s judicial branch through the end of 2015 – when she has said…

By a 95-74 margin, S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal won reelection to her post this week – fending off a credible challenge from associate justice Costa Pleicones.

That means the 70-year-old former liberal activist will lead the state’s judicial branch through the end of 2015 – when she has said she will step down.

Maybe she’ll actually make good on her word this time …

The deeply personal battle between these two aging, left-of-center judges (Pleicones is 69 years old) stemmed from Toal’s prior “reconsideration” of her decision to step down last year.

It had nothing to do with ideology, judicial philosophy or reform of the state’s notoriously corrupt judicial branch.

For those reasons, we stayed out of it …

Toal’s triumph is also a major victory for embattled S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – who is currently staring down a grand jury investigation into corruption charges.

Harrell aggressively lobbied lawmakers on Toal’s behalf … and appears to have been instrumental in providing her with a winning margin.

“Bobby moved votes,” one pro-Pleicones lawmaker acknowledged.

Now the only question is did those votes come at a cost? And if so, who might be picking up the tab for them? We’ve heard from multiple lawmakers on both sides of this judicial battle – and to a person they tell us the horse trading was hot and heavy in the days leading up to the vote.

We’re also expecting Toal’s retribution against lawmakers who opposed her to be hot and heavy as well …

Which leads us to our fundamental point: It’s time to end the notoriously corrupt process of state legislators (most of whom are lawyers) electing judges. That responsibility should rest with the Governor’s Office – acting with the advice and consent of the State Senate.

UPDATE: For those of you keeping score at home, here is the legislative roll call from the vote showing each lawmaker’s selection … 

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Hmmmm February 5, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Think about the lawyers that put themselves “out there” in railing against Toal.

She’s going to be very busy taking out retribution for the duration of her term.

SamAdams2010 February 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm

There will be blood.

Astonished February 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Wow, that “pebble” in Ted Vick’s shoe just got HUGE!

Hmmm February 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

lol…I caught that he voted against her…it’s like he has a death wish.

southmauldin February 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Great. I get to look at that another couple of years every time I have to stay awake during that free Richland County CLE in December.

GreenvilleLwyr February 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Try the (not) free (but cheap) one in Greenville. Although it did have Toal a couple of years ago…

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

OK, so can we see a list of names of the scum suckers who voted her back in, please?

Reply February 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thank you, londoles! Damn, I want to throw up, right now. My Senator and my Representative voted for her!

SoSad February 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm

And the grindwheel keeps on rolling in Columbia Sakerlina.

Business as usual.

David Hume February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

South Carolina —

5th most “Corrupt State” government in the nation: score “F”

South Carolina’s “Judicial Accountability” score: “F”

South Carolina’s “Legislative Accountability” score: “F”

South Carolina’s “Ethics Enforcement Agencies” score: “F”

“Official state government corruption” and “State of South Carolina” are synonymous.

I’ll help campaign against legislators who supported this corrupt judge.

Mary February 5, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Why not just campaign against all Republicans in SC, since they are all corrupt.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Looks like there’s no one minding the Democrat Party in this state either. Someone needs to make liberals out of the corrupt Democrats while they’re at it… you know, provide a rational choice?

I can understand not paying attention because the Republicans hate everything liberal – makes it easier to go under the radar masquerading as a persecuted liberal instead of a corrupt politician. People pulling the lever against Republicans bring them in unaware – not realizing they don’t represent the party platform, and aren’t worth the shit paper their degree is printed on.

Damn! what a fucked up state!

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This is sickening. This is the first time I have been disgusted with Katrina Shealy since she took office. Ditto Rick Quinn. WTF?????

Squishy123 February 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

The only positive things she’s done is get Jakie out of office. With any luck she’ll be a one-termer, I know several people in Lexington who voted for her just to get Jakie out of office but won’t vote for her again.

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I’ve actually been fairly happy with her up until now. She has supported the restaurant carry bill and a few other things she did were to my liking. I am unable to wrap my head around her supporting this corrupt old hag, who caused Katrina to have to lobby.

Unlike Nikki, Katrina Shealy did support the Restaurant Carry bill in word and deed. Nikki, who didn’t lend any tangible support to the effort while the bill was in play will make a BFD about signing it and acting like she has moved Heaven and Earth for gun owners, in her bid to be re-elected.

JimBob February 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Has it occurred to any of you idiots that perhaps Senator Shealy may have been more informed about the issues than a bunch of malcontent libertarian losers? I live in Lexington, I bet you don’t, and I can tell you she is pretty popular over there. Who the hell you think will run against her?

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Read my post. I said that I had been happy with Ms Shealy up until now. I also live in Lexington. I not only voted for her, I went to her office and signed the petition to get her placed back on the ballot, after Hit-And-Run Jean caused her (Shealy) and a couple of hundred more candidates to be taken off the ballot, in deference to her boy Jake Knotts’ wishes.

I don’t even know who might run against her. Hadn’t really considered it as being a possible necessity before now. I hope she can explain herself with regard to this decision, as I also do my Representative.

Dice Man February 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Where’s the press release from Tom Davis touting his vote for Toal???

SCBlueWoman February 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

This state is going to hell in a hand basket…. correction…. we’re already there and there is no basket. Craptastic.

Jackie Chiles February 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Funny that you say this when one of your own wins.

SCBlueWoman February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

She’s not one of mine.

Lobeco Bob February 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Tom Davis – we have lost all respect for you. What were you promised? What were you told? You stand out as one of the most surprising votes for Toal because you tout all the honesty stuff. You have actual knowledge of Toal’s corruption and yet, you voted for it to continue. You relevance just took a turn downward. I expect a full explanation in an editorial in The Island Packet. Your political career is now toast, dude.

Edgar February 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Dumb as Dirt but still arrogant Chip Campsen and Tom Davis are still close with Sanford. There’s something in this strong support for Toal by these two that is not adding up. It’s only a matter of time. We’ll know before this legislative session is over.

Lawrence February 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm

I understand that Campsen is not a practicing lawyer. The Campsens have the federal concession (National Parks) to operate the tourist boats to Fort Sumter, so he doesn’t have to work. He did sell out though, but you’re right, for what? Very low purchase price for Campsen.

Edgar February 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Campsen made more at the altar on his wedding day than he will ever earn. THAT’S the source of his big money attitude. It’s all hers.

Hilton Head Harry February 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Im suprsied you are just figuring out Old Tom, The Carpetbagger! He talks the talk, but never walks the walk. He is no defferent than Leatherman. Just a different strategy to stay in office.
Truth be know this is probably why Will decdied to sit this one out. He would not want to go against one of his “sources”.

Judith February 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm

So what happens when Harrell and Toal cannot deliver? Will there be another vote? How long will the losers who believed the promises going to give them?

Lester February 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I don’t think “most of the legislators are lawyers”. I’d like to see a count.

Squishy123 February 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

But they’re all politicians…

James February 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm

What did Katrina Shealy get promised? Who can get her to tell?

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I would love to know. She was actually a victim of Toal’s influence peddling prior to the 2012 elections. This is highly disturbing.

Murray_Lake February 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Katrina Shealy lost my vote. Hey Katrina–you’ve turned out to be no better than old’ Jakie. At least Jakie brought home the bacon. All you do is look mad and suck up to the status quo. Go back to peddling insurance and do us all a favor.

You must be kidding?? February 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

If this lost your vote she never had it! And if you live on Lake Murray you aren’t her constituent anyway so she didn’t loose your vote – Jakie cut all those rich Lake owners out years ago. Maybe you aren’t smart enough to figure out who your Senator is?? 80% of the people in SC don’t even know who Toal is so get over it!

Murray_Lake February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

hey Katrina get off this site. You are a disgrace. You and fat Rick Quinn, another so-called Lexington conservative Republican. Voting for Toal shows both of you haven’t a clue. We already knew that about fat Quinn but you disappointed us. Or maybe not.

Squishy123 February 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Nothing to see here, politics as usual in SC.

Jay Ellington February 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

There’s liable to be a few side swiped automobiles in SC tonight.

GreenvilleLwyr February 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

So Bruce Bannister didn’t have the stones to cast a vote? Pussy.

Ha Ha! February 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

The sad fact is this will have NO repercussions, political or otherwise.

I doubt that more than twenty percent or so of the voters in SC even know who Jean Toal is!

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I sure didn’t.

Thomas February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

1) Speaker Harrel: When is indicted at the criminal code level, he must step down. The only thing CJ Toal (congratulations!) can do is this: The Harrel legal team objects to a criminal indictment and goes to CJ Toal for a ruling. He stays Speaker until her ruling. She rules lack of jurisdiction without any State Ethics Commission hearings bearing formal charges…first. The criminal indictment is quashed (I am not a lawyer, btw) and sent to the SC Ethics Commission. The Commission asks for reimbursement, an apology without formal charges, and Speaker Harrel stands pat.

Winners: AG Wilson, SLED, Speaker Harrel, CJ Toal, Gov Haley.

Next week, I will solve world hunger.

You don't say... February 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

“I am not a lawyer, btw” … yeah, it shows

swing, and a miss February 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Not only were every one of the hypothetical proceedings you
listed incorrect/not even possible, those aren’t even the correct entities who
would handle such a case even if what you said were possible.

Clearly you’re not a political consultant either. You misspelled
“Harrell” four times.

Disgraceful February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Well, for those of you that missed the back story that was driving the votes for Toal, the carrot for the 27 African American legislators that voted for Toal was the election of an unqualified African American lawyer in the 13th Circuit Family Court race. The lawyer, Tarita Dunbar, by her own admission, has absolutely NO experience in Equitable Distribution, Child Custody, Juvenile cases, or Adoption.

See her answers related to those areas of law here:

So, congrats Black Caucus, you got you unqualified African American judge and you sacked the rest of us with the disgrace to justice that is Jean Toal.

Weak February 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Check out the close nature of the vote counts in the two races.

shifty henry February 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Question #24 — that did it for Shifty! (PROFANITY) makes her think she is qualified (another PROFANITY)..??

Perhaps there is a group of lawyers already preparing to divide up all of the appeals cases that will result from this…person.

demarke February 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I like where she has studied the applicable “statues” in two of those questions. Did no one think to re-read this statement or edit it before handing it in?

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Question #24

…b-b-b-but she’s taken part in excess of 100% of her cases…so there’s that…..

Slartibartfast February 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm

We have just witnessed an intentional infection of a person with Affluenza.

Sold out to the White Man February 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm

The Legislative Black Caucus has no leadership, authority, influence or relevance. Like the early American Indians, they’re easily bought off with glass beads, trinkets, baubles, and other cheap deals by wily white folks.

The shame is that the LBC really don’t represent their “people,” don’t advance their “people,” and short-change their “people” — with the ultimate objective of simply “remaining in office.”

Whitey February 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

You second paragraph sounds just like the white reps. They don’t advance their people, they short change their people, and their ultimate objective is to simply remain in office.

You are sorry February 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Say whatever the hell you want to will, we all know you took a dive!

truth February 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

A deal was cut to support Toal and get the African-American candidate elected to Greenville Family Court. She wasn’t even supported by her delegation. The Greenville delegation who supported Toal has serious egg on there faces. Check out the Family Court vote and compare to Supreme Court. Ask Paul Thurmond, Chip Campsen, John Courson, Jenny Horne, Rick Quinn, Chris Murphy, Hugh Leatherman, Larry Grooms and many other “conservatives” why they voted for Toal and Dunbar. Certainly they didn’t sell their votes??

Edgar February 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Hell yeah, those whores sold their votes! We’re going to figure it out and karma will get them.

Dan on Divine February 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Some House members no one ever heard of are down here bragging about their upgraded committee assignments because they voted for Toal. Hey, guys, don’t buy that new tie for your first meetings yet. This election is the laughing stock of the bars tonight.

James Smith – our sainted Toal loving House member – had best start mending some fences. Sen. Sheheen? He wasn’t in it to win anyway so he voted for Toal to make James, his bff and Uncle Bob happy happy happy. His campaign is over.

Smirks February 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Toal is only left-of-center when driving home from the bar.

TontoBubbaGoldstein February 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm

“Toal is only left-of-center when driving home from the bar.”

TBG thought that was the only time she drifted to the right…..

Slartibartfast February 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Beer through the nose.. again..

Anonymous Cola Vista lawyer February 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Be sure to get an invitation to the next Betsy Gray firm party. It will be a grand one! This Toal election just made her and her law firm another couple of million at least. They get paid big bucks to represent lawyers in trouble, Betsy drinks with Jean and Lee Coggiola and bam, a private reprimand is all they ever get.

Ha Ha you fraidy' cat! February 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm

You better remain anonymous or that vengeful bitch is gonna git you.

Joe February 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Bet Jim won’t go home even with the promise he gets 3/4’s of the money.

No-name lawyer February 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I know you are telling the truth. I know an older attorney who is so amused at how self-righteous and do-gooder SGS&L acts when Betsy is corrupt as all hell with her relationship with Jean and Lee. He’s laughing because he had an inside line with a previous chief justice and he made a ton of money off of it.

Betsy’s defense is that the Queen can waive any rule in her kingdom at any time she pleases so she is not really cheating.

I will give Betsy credit for this fact. however. She knows it’s all at Jean’s discretion and selling her ethics out for a million or so a year is okay.

CNSYD February 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

In the words of the late Gomer Pyle, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Insider February 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Barbie, you are still NOT going to get Lee’s job. We all hate you and as you know, no one trusts you.

Anonymous February 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I caught this one. Haha. I’m not sure Toal didn’t sell ole Barbie out for a vote from a certain lowcountry lawyer-legislator.

Michael February 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Who is going to pay for my pregnant girlfriend’s health insurance if Sis Barbie loses her job?

FedUp! February 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm

My local representative, a lawyer, has hell to pay come re-election time. Conservative Republican my ass!

Caleb February 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

It only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch.

Toal is that apple.

The S.C. judicial system is the whole bunch.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Why do so many people hate Toal?

And I mean hate!

I don’t know anything about her professionally, but a friend of mine knows her full-of-personality daughter, and a colleague I respect knows her family well and I never hear anything the least bit untoward. But then again, that’s all personal.

Of course most of her enemies I would be right proud of having hate me. But others, they perplex me.

Any insight?

NASA - HOUSTON February 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

What of the orbiting space-ships are you writing from, Comrad?

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Think of me as someone who honestly just doesn’t know.

Lois February 5, 2014 at 9:32 pm

No, I am thinking you are playing a game, bitch.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 10:26 pm

You lose, asshole.

Judith February 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm

You are joking right? Her lying is legendary, her unethically trading favors for votes is now widely known and she has blatantly violated her own rules innumerable times. She lies to the other justices routinely to get her private agendas passed (law exam fiasco).

I also know her family and would not have any of them at my dinner table. Count your silverware first, then check your medicine cabinet when they leave.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Excellent generalization, but I’m looking for something like the top three reasons… something concrete.

Judith February 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

You’re acting like a couple of the really dumb legislators. Even if is explained to you in graphic detail, you’ll say something like James Smith did,”Well, I’m sure there’s another side to that story.” Even when the facts were right in front of his face, he kept whining until we just walked off from him. He knows she’s a crook – he just wants her to be his crook. She’ll turn on him if a better deal comes along.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Don’t judge me too harshly. I’m not dumb. This is not a troll question – ask me why I think Bright isn’t. I’ll tell you in great detail. Ask me why the Bachmann-Palin Overdrive is like a Mexican Parade. I’ll tell you. But ask me about this Toal person? I haven’t a clue.

For instance – Bush.
1. Iraq
2. Economy
3. Idiot

I can give concrete examples of why he is hated for those things.

CorruptionInColumbia February 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Two hit-and-run accidents, apparently while sloshed.

Jake’s lap dog. She did his bidding in ruling that candidates on the 2012 primary ballots were removed (so Katrina couldn’t run against Jake because he knew she would beat him). She denied thousands of SC voters their choice because Jake was afraid of his competition.

Read the sworn statement by Jamey Lucas, former LexCo magistrate and Chief Magistrate, and later RichCo deputy. He lays out further evidence that Jean was Jake’s lap dog.

Various and sundry other incidents and indices of corruption and influence peddling associated with her.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Thanks. *Two* hit-and-runs? shit, man. So they caught her and she didn’t go to jail?

remember February 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Whoa, that’s two reported hit and runs, cops and prosecutors and magistrates DO NOT relish or dare touch the idea of the state’s chief justice.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm


Urinal Man February 6, 2014 at 12:47 am

Your hyperlink has a story about Paul Thurmond who — surprise, surprise — got through the “Toal gate” to run with no opposition. Thurmond is a lawyer advertising (at eye-level bar / restaurant urinals throughout Charleston County) directed at DUI clients. Here’s a guy with no heart (think “Wizard of Oz”) — his 21-year-old sister was struck and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street at Five Points one night in the 1980s. Thurmond has “hypocrite” stamped on his forehead. Yes, all of S.C. is a a cesspool — a smelly urinal — of corruption.

eue, eue, eue February 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Did you read former Senator Mike Roses article on this sight? He named 5 – and it takes a lot for an attorney or any figure to speak out against a reigning chief justice.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 11:04 pm

This site is a far sight from being completely read… how about a link? I’m assuming that’s 5 for Toal, not 5 for Bush.

search for rose February 5, 2014 at 11:30 pm

It was a letter yesterday or day before, with Mail trucks in the picture, search the site for rose, and it would have to be one of the only ones to come up in weeks or months.

SCBlues February 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

You are one crazy old bitch!

SCBlues February 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

You are one crazy old bitch!

SCBlues February 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Most of the men (Republican good old boys) around these parts detest HER because SHE is a WOMAN. Read the comments from these damn in-bred male Republicans on this site on just about any subject – especially if there is a female be posted about.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm your take is something like the Hillary derangement syndrome?

SCBlues February 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Yes – that is my take. What’s yours? I always enjoy reading your comments and perspective.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm

I just read a couple of articles that seemed to indicate she’s a good old boy herself… Unless there’s some serious spinning, the state is crawling with people who say one thing and do another, and don’t have to pay for it.

I’m surprised by the virility of the hate, though. She’s not the only floater in this particular sewer. I guess Republicans just hate harder.

Judith February 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Dumb ass, we hate her because she is a lying, corrupt, bullying, dishonest politician who pushes her own agenda instead of interpreting the law, she uses her attorney/judicial discipline system as a power tool and she alienates people for her own personal gain. She selectively prosecutes her enemies and protects her friends.

You must be one of her hired whores – as in a political sense, not sexual – who is on some payroll because of your subservience and careful observance of the rule to never question her decisions – right or wrong. Have a good life, loser.

On the Lam February 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

“we hate her because she is a lying, corrupt, bullying, dishonest [insert noun] who pushes her own agenda instead of interpreting the law, she uses her [agency] system as a power tool and she alienates people for her own personal gain. She selectively prosecutes her enemies and protects her friends.”

You describe several other agency chiefs and high-ups. as well Start with SLED. They don’t get quite the same loathing though.

SCBlues February 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm

LMFAO Oh me. Miss Judith done got her panties all in a big old wad! You’ve made my day, asswipe!

Dem attorney +1 on hating Toal February 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

SC Blue, Republicans voted for her all over the map – I think Bobby Harrell is a Republican of sorts – he may even be head of some part of the legislature – or something like that. Another huge Toal supporter – a guy name Hugh Leatherman – I think he’s in the Senate or something like that. I guess their just female hatin’ ‘publicans? Maybe look at the votes before you go off on this uninformed bull shit.

Lois February 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

If your friend knows her bat sh%* crazy family, drunk man seeking husband, and greedy siblings and cousins, then you are being lied to. Get better friends.

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

This guy doesn’t lie.

Id say February 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Most all of the hate is just from attorneys who had to realize the hard way that law in SC is what Toal says it is and that knowing the law is pretty worthless if your opponent is kissing the ring…

euwe max February 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

So you’re in agreement – SC sucks balls.

not totally agreement February 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm

id say the SC legal system sucks balls to the degree toal has influence over it, which is unfortunately a large degree for another two years. doesnt affect the beaches, football, my dogs, and a whole lot of things that make SC wonderful. negatively impacts my practice of law, because im not a toal buddy.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

Dude… respect. No offense to your dog.

warren February 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Correction for Corruption in Columbia – Judge Toal did not take part in the case that kicked Katrina Shealy and 200 challengers off the ballot – Judge Pleicones wrote the opinion. He is primarily responsible for helping the incumbent legislators who were facing tough reelection challengers. His strongest supporters and many of his votes came from those incumbents he helped cruise to reelection without opposition.

Andre Bauer February 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

That means the 70-year-old former liberal activist will lead the state’s judicial branch through the end of 2015 – when she has said she will step down (or until she drives drunk into an oak tree.)

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Upon which time, she will retire to a life of drinking and a cottage industry of stamping out goblin cookie with that hideous mug of hers.

JD - Anderson February 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Toal wins. SC loses.

Carol - Hilton Head February 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I see lawyer-legislator, my senator, Tom Davis, on the list of Toal supporters. My changed opinion of him: a common opportunist, a sell-out. It’ll come back to haunt him.

Folly Field man February 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I agree.

Knight Longknife February 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Let the much-foretold retaliatory bloodletting begin!

D. Rhoades February 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

You need to at least try to be accurate occasionally. The statement or “big lie” repeated over and over again, that “most of the legislators are lawyers” has no basis in reality. Legislators who are lawyers are a minority. Apparently, propaganda or a reckless indifference regarding accuracy has nothing to do with “stories” on this blog.

well now February 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

but to be fair, only about 1/4 of 1.0% of the states 4.5 million citizens are attorneys (actually less). If just 34 of the states 170 legislators are attorneys – I think its higher, that’s 20 percent, or about 80 times higher ratio than the populous in general.

I for one don’t care, and thinks its good in part to have people who write the law understand the impact – BUT at the same time, down try to give us a whoa is me on the number of attorneys there. Im going to put good money on it that attorneys make up a higher percentage of legislators than any other profession. Bat none – pun intended.

Buck Holiday February 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Tom Davis voted for Toal. Why no scathing write up, Billy?

4sale February 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Tom Davis showed his true colors. He isn’t a conservative leader. He is an attorney opportunist. He really let the Tea Party down with this one. Anyone who votes with the liberal Black Caucus instead of voting Toal out to put a conservative on the court is no conservative. He sold us out. At least with democrats, I know what we get.

Folly Field February 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm

We agree. Tom, your political days are over. Time to get a real job. Let’s see how Toal helps you there. Why don’t you write one of those platitudes filled editorials explaining why you voted for Toal. The Island Packet is waiting for it. ps. No, Tom. This will not just blow over.

Deo Vindice SC February 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Onward Chistian Soilders marching as to war, with the cross of corruption going on as before. Some Country nuke this, “it ain’t a state” ASAP.

nitrat February 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Ha, Ha…Tom Davis and Katrina Shealy voted for Toal…is Sic disappointed in his favorites?

Save us Beatty Lord Pleas February 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

So at the last min Sen Malloy got some good turn around in the black caucus by selling the idea that Toal actually would step down in two years – ummmkay -and then Beatty would be chief justice. If you guys think Toal is crooked, just you wait.

Judith February 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Toal has royally screwed the Black Caucus and Beatty. She has already promised Kaye Hearn she’ll be the next chief justice. We never thought Hearn would be the a Nye like whore.

save us Beatty Lord please February 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Judith, I think the overall point is that Toal’s promises don’t mean much. The only thing that’s sure to come out of this election is the dismissal of Uncle Bobby’s charges, one way or another.

katy did February 6, 2014 at 3:28 am

Toal will be insufferable for the rest of her reign. Much worse than the bully she has been for the past 10+ years. Sad to think we could have been blessed with Pleicones who treats everyone equally and with great respect; who has the judicial experience, wisdom and temperament needed in a chief justice. Within a brief span of time he could have improved morale and the image of our court system and we’d be in good shape for the next elected SCJ. He is admired by everyone who knows him – conservative or liberal. What a shame that the majority of our legislators’ votes were based not on the best candidate, but on fear of retaliation: to save their own hides! Thank God for the many with backbones who bravely represented the best interest of their constituents.

Junior clerk February 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

“What a shame that the majority of our legislators’ votes were based not on the best candidate, but on fear of retaliation: to save their own hides!”….and the little goody bag of promises of favors and favorable appointments…..

Todd February 6, 2014 at 8:48 am

Sic, even tempered by a night’s sleep and checking the morning emails, your boy Tom Davis remains one of the biggest puzzles in this Toal-Pleicones race. It is known that Tom stiff armed a couple of other low country house members to vote with him for Toal. Would you reach out to Tom to write what one of the other posters on this site called his “platitudes filled editorials” explaining why he made this decision? It would be a sure hit to get you lots of hits – not to mention the figurative hits Tom would get.

Anonymous Attorney February 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

You lawyers posting on this site remember: By statute, the only professional organization whose members are NOT protected with the rights of due process in their disciplinary organization and process – are attorneys. It’s all at Toal’s discretion.

law February 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

Regarding the Toal/Dunbar vote-swap disclosed in earlier comments, SC Code Sec. 2-19-70(D) says: “No member of the General Assembly may trade anything of value, including pledges to vote for legislation or for other candidates, in exchange for another member’s pledge to vote for a candidate for judicial office.” This law and others revamping the judicial selection process were pushed through immediately after Toal’s 1996 reelection as Assoc. Supreme Court Justice, which was also opposed (a “first” for the assoc. justice seat as well). The timing was no coincidence per “South Carolina’s Experiment: Legislative Control of Judicial Merit Selection” (1998), which begins by describing Toal’s contentious 1995-96 race ( The 1998 article later notes:

“The new procedures prohibit trading “pledges to vote for legislation or for other candidates” in exchange for support of a particular judicial candidate.[FN 114] Such vote-swapping and horse-trading was common under the former system and often led to consensus on the election of judicial candidates.[FN 115] Without this vote-trading, legislators may be more inclined to vote along party lines according to the dictates of their legislative leadership.
[FN 114] S.C. Code Ann. § 2-19-70(D) (Law. Co-op. Supp. 1997).
[FN 115] One House member attested that “‘(t)he reality is this body can’t function unless we can form coalitions.”’ Cindi Ross Scoppe, Judicial-Reform Plan Stalls in House: Backers Regroup for Tuesday Effort, The State (Columbia, S.C.), May 24, 1996, at B3 (quoting Rep. Lucille Whipper (D-Charleston)).
Prior to the new Act, certain legislative groups were particularly beholden to trading their votes in exchange for support of certain judicial candidates or legislation. Following the 1995 judicial elections, black lawmakers readily admitted they cut deals to deliver 19 votes to elevate Circuit Court Judge E.C. Burnett, III to the high court and 21 votes to give Family Court Judge Kaye Hearn a seat on the S.C. Court of Appeals. In exchange, the other judges’ supporters returned embattled Circuit Judge Danny Martin, one of three black circuit judges in the state, to the bench.
Greene & Scoppe, supra note 82, at A1. Senator Maggie Glover, then head of the Legislative Black Caucus, praised the group’s deal making “as ‘one of the few days we got all that we asked for.”’ Id. (quoting Sen. Maggie Glover (D-Florence)). Senator Robert Ford put it on a personal level: “I had to sell my soul to 10 devils.”’ Id. (quoting Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston)). However, black lawmakers were not alone in their efforts to trade judicial votes for legislative favors. Then-Representative Tim Rogers told reporters that “lawmakers (of all races) agreed to support particular candidates in exchange for backing pet legislation.” Id. Some legislators attest that this practice can never be stopped, nor do they want to stop swapping. According to Representative Lucille Whipper, “anyone who thinks the (General Assembly) can outlaw vote swapping is ‘running around in a world of fantasy.”’ Scoppe, supra (quoting Rep. Lucille Whipper (D-Charleston)).”

Did yesterday’s horsetraders forget about the 1996 law change, or just know that it would never be enforced against them? SC Code Sec. 2-19-70(E) says: “Violations of this section by members of the General Assembly shall be reported by the [Judicial Merit Selection] commission to the House or Senate Ethics Committee, as may be applicable. . . . A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, the violator must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days. Cases tried under this section may not be transferred from general sessions court pursuant to Section 22-3-545.” As previously noted on this site, committee assignments are controlled by Speaker Bobby Harrell (who is being investigated for various ethical violations: The following voted for both Toal and Dunbar:

— 6 out of 10 House Ethics Committee members (plus Bingham & Pitts who voted for Toal but not Dunbar):
— 6 out of 10 Senate Ethics Committee members (plus Reese & Hayes who voted for Toal but not Dunbar):
— 2 of the 6 legislative members of the Judicial Merit Selection Committee (all 6 legislative JMSC members voted for Toal, including Bannister by default):
Toal/Dunbar vote records:

Edgar February 6, 2014 at 11:20 am

With Jean Toal having RC’s Solicitor, Dan Johnson’s testicles in a jar on her desk due to his “alleged” ethical violations and her omniscient power with her attorney discipline system, NOTHING will happen to Toal and Harrell for the open, not even discreet horsetrading. All Toal has to say, is “Dan?” and that’s the end of the investigation. Thank you for posting, however.

hey February 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Dan Johnson actively campaigned against Toal during the race. I’m certain he isn’t afraid of Toal.


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