State Chief Justice calls for more diversity in judges

February 27, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Chief Justice Donald Beatty says keeping diversity in the judicial system is critical to maintain the fairness and integrity of the courts.

Beatty spoke Wednesday to a joint session of the General Assembly, giving the annual State of the Judiciary report.

Beatty opened his speech talking about diversity, saying it is at its core a state of mind more than a collection of different things. He also pointed out that only 9 percent of South Carolina’s judges are African-American women.

Black lawmakers objected at a judicial election earlier this year when a white man who had never been a judge won a state Appeals Court seat over an African-American woman with 20 years on the bench.

Beatty, who is black, has been Chief Justice since the start of 2017.