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SPECIAL SESSION: Greenville County woman elected to the SC Supreme Court by the General Assembly

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – The nation’s only all-male Supreme Court is now no more.

South Carolina becomes the 19th state with all-white judges after lawmakers elected Greenville Judge Letitia Verdin to the Supreme Court. She currently serves on the state appellate court and has more than 15 years of experience in state courts.

“I know it’s going to be a lot of work and I’m looking forward to getting started there in August,” Verdin said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Judge Letitia Verdin to the state Supreme Court.

“I am a fair judge who believes in serving all persons in South Carolina,” said the USC law graduate. “I hope that is my reputation and hope to continue that.”

Republican Senator Tom Davis says he supports the election of the new judge.

“I sat down and had a good conversation with her,” the senator said. “She has a distinguished record at the Court of Appeal and she is very intelligent. Let’s be honest: I think it’s important for a woman to serve on the state Supreme Court.”

Although South Carolina now no longer has the nation’s only all-male Supreme Court, it like eighteen other states has all-white justices, with the retirement of Chief Justice Don Beatty.

“We’re going to have people in positions of power and influence using their pulpits to talk about how sad it is in South Carolina, where the courts are not representative of the state,” said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a South Carolina Democrat. Orangeburg.

No bills were discussed Wednesday, but lawmakers will return June 18 with a lot of unfinished business, including the restructuring of several state health agencies.

“We have people in South Carolina with disabilities, special needs, mental health issues, substance abuse and dementia who are not getting the care they deserve,” Davis said. “We have four agencies that overlap and compete with each other for legislative money. It is a very inefficient way to deliver services to a population that really needs them.”

Davis also says the budget should pass and approves many of the items in the Senate version.

“Classroom teacher salaries, law enforcement salaries, roads and bridges, and cutting taxes, which we did again this year,” Davis said.

One thing that didn’t happen this year, however, is the legalization of medical marijuana, a bill the senator from Beaufort has supported for years.

“I’ll keep talking about it until it passes,” Davis said. “It’s something that 75 percent of South Carolina residents want. Thirty-nine states have adopted it. Doctors want to give it to patients. There is no reason for politicians to stand in the way of what a doctor thinks is in the patient’s best interest.”

After Verdin’s election, four of the five members of the state Supreme Court live in the Upstate. Judge George James, who lives in Sumter, is the only judge who does not live in that region.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly elected John Kittridge to fill the chief justice position vacated by Beatty.

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