Making Democracy Work

Local Leagues in South Carolina

Local Leagues in South Carolina Events for an Independent and Diverse Judiciary

Safeguarding Democracy: Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary

Local South Carolina Leagues

LWV of Greenville County:

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November 15, 2011: Program on Judicial Independence and Diversity to be held at the Riley Institute, Younts Conference Center, Furman University from 7:00 to 8:00pm with reception to follow. The new website will be presented along with guest speakers Malia Reddick, of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, and Dr. Barbara Zia, Co-President, League of Women Voters of South Carolina. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited to 270.

Photos from the November 15th event

Program Event

April thru November 2011: Build a Judicial Independence and Diversity website. This website is a resource dedicated to achieving the long term goals of the Judicial Independence and Diversity Initiative. In addition, this website serves as a resource for anyone interested in knowing how the South Carolina Judicial Branch is organized and operates. Every effort will be made to ensure that the content of this website is current and accurate. Please contact the League of Women Voters of Greenville County ( if any information contained herein needs to be updated or appears inaccurate. Judicial Independence and Diversity Website

July 16, 2011: A program on Judicial Diversity and Independence by speaker Jennifer Howe, attorney. The program will be from 10-11:30am at University Center in Greenville, room 514. This event is open to the public, but seating is limited.

LWV of Darlington County:
"Quest For A More Diverse Judiciary" is the topic of discussion at the upcoming League Of Women Voters of Darlington County special meeting. The community is invited to attend this program on the Coker College campus, 112 Davidson Hall, Monday, October 17th, 2011, 7:00 p.m. The League Of Women Voters has adopted this agenda for our local, state and national on-going project. We work to promote the importance of fair and impartial courts nationwide and focus on promoting diversity at all levels of the judiciary to enhance the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public. The League Is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Seating is limited. You will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Contact: Joyce Franklin, 1317 Gus Drive, Darlington, SC 29532; 843-393-7646- (h), 260-3387 (cell)

LWV of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton:
A Case for Diversity in South Carolina Courts will be presented at a free public forum on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at 7:00 PM at the Visual Performing Arts Center at Hilton Head Island High School, 70 Wilborn Road, Hilton Head Island. The forum will feature a panel of knowledgeable participants in the selection process for judges in our state, including: SC Senator Tom Davis, SC Representative Andy Patrick, the Honorable Judge Carmen T. Mullen (14th Judicial Circuit), Kelly Jolley, member of the South Carolina Bar, and SC Representative David Mack III, who is also a member of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission. Barbara Zia, Co-President of League of Women Voters of South Carolina, will present an overview of the South Carolina Judicial Diversity Project as sponsored by the National League and funded by the Open Society Foundations. Guests are invited to attend a free public reception following the panel discussion. This event is approved by the South Carolina Supreme Court for 1.5 CLE credits for members of the SC Bar. For more information go to For article about program

LWV of Sumter County:
September 12, 2011 - iCivics Court Education Program presentation.

LWV of Spartanburg County:
July 2011 -- Spartanburg LWV ran a week of "Laws and Courts Are Our Friends" for children at Crescent Hills Summer Camp in Spartanburg.

LWV of Charleston Area:
2011 Annual Meeting -- Call to Members & Guests: Please Join Us for the League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area 2011 Annual Meeting and Dinner
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Social Time 6:00 p.m.--Cash bar, Buffet dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m., The Point Grill, 176 Patriots Point Boulevard, Mt. Pleasant
The Keynote Speaker will be The Honorable F.P. "Charlie" Segars-Andrews, who will discuss judicial selection in SC. More Information

LWV of Horry County:
May 16, 2011 -A public forum on ensuring a diverse and impartial judiciary to be held May 16, 2011 at Coastal Carolina University, Wall Auditorium, from 4 to 6pm. Key Note Speaker will be SC Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Judge Kaye Hearn.

More Information

Program Event

LWV of Darlington County:
The League of Women Voters of Darlington County will conduct a special program focusing on the "Quest For A Diverse Judiciary". The program will be held Monday, March 21, 2011, 7:00 p.m. in the Mayo Magnet School cafeteria, 405 Chestnut Street, Darlington. In South Carolina, only 22% of state judges using the merit-selection process are women, even though women comprise nearly 35% of lawyers in the state and make up 52% of the state population. And, only eight (or 7%) of the 118 judgeships are occupied by a minority. The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Administrative Law, Circuit Court and Family Court use the merit-selection process and election by General Assembly. Probate Court Judges are selected by popular election. Masters-in-Equity are appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the General Assembly. The League of Women Voters promote the importance of fair and impartial courts nationwide. We are, currently, focused on promoting diversity at all levels of the state judiciary to enhance the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public. We welcome the community participation in this process. Seating will be done on a first-come, first-serve seating basis. For more information, please feel free to call Joyce Franklin at 843-393-7646, Pecolia Grove at 843-857-9074, Sheila Haney at 843-332-6468, Belinda Copeland at 843-332-5186, Dyan Cohen at 843-393-2285, or Dorothy Quist at 843-383-5809.

LWV of Columbia Area:
January 20, 2011: Public Policy Luncheon on the importance of judicial diversity and the current composition of the judiciary in South Carolina, barriers to a diverse judiciary, and possible actions that could be taken to improve the level of diversity.
January thru May,

Essay Contest for high school seniors on comparative judicial selection methods
May 17, 2011 - Awards luncheon to conclude essay contest for high school seniors on comparative judicial selection methods.

November 18, 2010: Public Policy Luncheon on the history of the League's involvement with issues involving the independence of courts in South Carolina and explaining the 2010-2011 SC LWV Initiative on Judicial Independence and Diversity.

LWV of Sumter County:
Monthly meetings on how the judiciary operates in Sumter County
October 11, 2010: Discussion of judicial responsibilities and the selection process with Sumter Chief Magistrate Kathy Ward. Magistrate Court
November 8, 2010: Discussion of judicial responsibilities and the selection process with Judge Jeffrey Young, 3rd Judicial Circuit Court. Circuit Court
December 13, 2010: Discussion of judicial responsibilities and the selection process with Judge Dale Atkinson, Judge of Probate, Sumter County
January 10, 2011: Legislative Delegation - 2011 Legislative Projections regarding judicial matters, including funding of the judiciary
February 14, 2011: Discussion of judicial responsibilities and the selection process with Family Court Judge (TBA)
March 14, 2011: Discussion of judicial responsibilities and the selection process with Master in Equity, Richard Booth
April 11, 2011: Final event in series of workshops on judicial diversity
May 13th-15th, League of Women Voters of South Carolina - Convention

LWV of Spartanburg County:
February thru April, South Carolina civics and judicial selection education, "Laws and Courts are our Friends," for 400 Boys and Girls Club elementary grade school students. A workbook developed by the Spartanburg League will be used with the children and then be followed by a mock court event presented by the children. The children will then present what they have learned to 3 adults each, affecting 1,200 adults. For more information

LWV of Clemson Area:
The League of Women Voters, Clemson area will meet at 7:30 p.m. April 12 at the Clemson/Central Library on S.C. 93 in Central. Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m. Attorney Jennifer Howe of Greenville will be the speaker. She will discuss judicial diversity. She is also a representative of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association.
To find out more about improving South Carolina's system for selecting its state's judges, please attend this meeting which is open to the public.
For more information, call (864) 944-7171. Photos from the event

LWV of Darlington County/LWV of Florence Area:
January 31, 2011 - Discussion of judicial selection and diversity with State Senator Gerald Malloy of Hartsville, who spoke about a portion of the legislative agenda for 2011 (specifically, his bill that would nearly triple the amount of money the state's court system would receive from South Carolina's General Fund).

LWV of the Florence Area:
Panel Discussion on the State of Diversity in the South Carolina Judiciary
Monday, November 29, 2010 \ Francis Marion University's Chapman Auditorium, Florence, SC
A moderator and three-person panel, composed of Constance Anastopoulo (moderator), Dr. Alissa Warters, Federal Judge Terry Wooten, and SC House of Representative Terry Alexander, will discuss the history of issues regarding the selection process of judges in the State of South Carolina with the perspective of gaining more independence and diversity. The program is open to the public and scheduled to be held from 6 to 7:30pm on the campus of Francis Marion University, Florence. A reception for all participants and audience will follow.

Florence Morning News Opinion: Finding best judges may take awhile