USC Upstate Will Host S.C. Supreme Court Session in October

September 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm

The South Carolina Supreme Court will hold arguments at the University of South Carolina Upstate in October, only the third time since 2010 the Court has convened outside of Columbia. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, and Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the USC Upstate Humanities and Performing Arts Center’s Main Theatre.

Justices will hear oral arguments for actual cases, providing citizens with a rare opportunity to learn about the judicial process of the state’s highest court against the backdrop of South Carolina’s largest public, regional comprehensive university—USC Upstate.

The event will be a homecoming of sorts for Chief Justice Donald W. “Don” Beatty, a native of Spartanburg who was elected by the General Assembly as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court in 2007 and as the Chief Justice in May 2016. Beatty began serving as the Chief Justice on Jan. 1, 2017. He is the state’s second African American Chief Justice.

“I am proud to bring the Supreme Court to Spartanburg,” Beatty said. “I appreciate this opportunity to share the workings of the Court. It is my hope that the Spartanburg community will gain a greater understanding of our state’s Judicial Branch.”

The Court’s visit to USC Upstate is part of its initiative to increase the visibility and accessibility of the state’s judicial branch. A similar two-day session held in April at Coastal Carolina University was the second time in nearly a decade the Court met outside the capitol.

“We are honored and excited to host this historic event,” said USC Upstate Chancellor Brendan Kelly. “The South Carolina Supreme Court’s visit is an amazing opportunity for our university community and Upstate residents to observe their state judiciary live and in person.”

The event is free and open to the public. Due to seating limitations, those who wish to attend are asked to register in advance online. Participants can sign up for one or more time slots. Seating for those with special needs is available.

Courtroom doors will remain closed while the Court is in session. The Court will take a short recess between case hearings, at which time attendees will be able to enter or exit the theatre.

All who wish to enter the courtroom will be subject to a thorough security screening. Items prohibited in the courtroom include weapons (guns, knives, etc.), cameras, electronics and bags. Cellphones must be turned off. Visitors are encouraged to allow ample time for parking and security.

SCETV will stream the event live. A link to the live stream will also be available on USC Upstate’s website.