Chief Justice Jean Toal to seek re-election - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Chief Justice Jean Toal to seek re-election

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Chief Justice Jean Toal Chief Justice Jean Toal

South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal has told lawmakers she plans to seek re-election for her seat on the state's highest court.

Calling the decision "tough" and "hard", Toal says she had also been urged to run again by several lawmakers.

Toal says she had been informing different groups over the past few days about her decision to seek re-election.

However, if Toal, 69, is re-elected, she will be forced to retire from the seat in December 2015 due to the state's mandatory retirement age of 72 for any judge associated with the state.

Toal, the state's first female chief justice, was elevated to the high court's chief spot back in 2000 to fill out the term of retiring Chief Justice Ernest Finney. She had previously been elected to the court in 1988.

In her capacity as the chief justice, Toal has sought to automate the court system in the state through several reforms such as electronic filing, adding new judges, and automating the justice system.

Toal says she expects to serve in a senior status capacity following her retirement.

State Supreme Court justices are elected to 10-year terms by the state's legislature.

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