Chief Justice Jean Toal Retains Her Seat

On Tuesday, Chief Justice Jean Toal was re-elected as the chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in a joint session of the General Assembly.  She was challenged by Associate Justice Costa Pleicones in a 95-74 vote.

South Carolina is one of only two states where the lawmakers elect the judges that interpret the laws they pass.  The Judicial Merit Selection Commission, a 10-person panel of appointees selected by legislators vet candidates’ qualifications for the seat and nominate up to three people to fill the position.

Toal, the first woman to serve on the state Supreme Court, has already said that she will step down at the end of next year when she reaches the mandatory age of retirement for state judges–72.