Kaye Hearn

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Kaye Hearn
Court Information:
South Carolina Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $131,000
Active:   1995 - present
Preceded by:   John Waller
Past position:   South Carolina Court of Appeals
Past term:   1995-2009
Past position:   Judge
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Bethany College, 1972
Law School:   University of South Carolina School of Law, 1977
Grad. School:   University of Virginia's Graduate Program for Judges (L.L.M. degree), 1998

Kaye G. Hearn is an elected justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. She was elected to this position on May 13, 2009. She is only the second woman to serve on the state Supreme Court. [1] Hearn was sworn in on January 14, 2010.[2]


Hearn received a B.A. degree from Bethany College in 1972, a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977, and an L.L.M. degree from the University of Virginia's Graduate Program for Judges in 1998.[3] She received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Charleston School of Law in 2010.[4]


After graduating from law school, Hearn clerked with Julius B. Ness, former member of the South Carolina Supreme Court. After her clerkship, she went into private practice. In 1986, Hearn joined the 15th District Family Court. A year later, she became the chief administrative judge on the court, a position she served until her election to the South Carolina Court of Appeals in 1995. Hearn was elected chief judge of that court in 1999. She was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court in 2009.[3]


Hearn is an adjunct professor at Charleston Law School.[3]

Awards and associations

  • 2011 Jean Galloway Bissell Award by the South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association[4]
  • 2011 Francis Marion University Honorary degree[4]
  • 2004 South Carolina Trial Lawyers' portrait honoree
  • Member, Nelson Mullis Riley & Scarborough Professionalism Committee
  • Member, The Chief Justice's Commission on the Profession
  • Member, Alternate Dispute Resolution Commission
  • Past member, South Carolina Board of Bar Examiners
  • Past member, Partnership Board, University of South Carolina Law School[3]
  • Chair, Docket Management Task Force, 2011[5]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Hearn received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.69, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more conservative than the average CF score of 0.47 that justices received in South Carolina. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[6]

See also

External links


South CarolinaSouth Carolina Supreme CourtSouth Carolina Court of AppealsSouth Carolina Circuit CourtsSouth Carolina Masters-in-EquitySouth Carolina Family CourtsSouth Carolina Magistrate CourtsSouth Carolina Municipal CourtsSouth Carolina Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of South CarolinaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of South CarolinaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitSouth Carolina countiesSouth Carolina judicial newsSouth Carolina judicial electionsJudicial selection in South CarolinaSouthCarolinaTemplate.jpg