Donald W. Beatty

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Donald Wayne Beatty
Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court
Assumed office
February 1, 2017
Preceded by Costa M. Pleicones
Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court
Assumed office
Preceded by E. C. Burnett, III
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 64–65)
Spartanburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina (J.D.)

Donald Wayne Beatty (born 1952) is the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court and formerly a Court of Appeals judge for the state.[1] He was elected to a seat on the South Carolina Supreme Court on May 23, 2007, to replace Justice E. C. Burnett, III.[2] He became Chief Justice on February 1, 2017.


He received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1979 and his B.A. cum laude from South Carolina State University in 1974.

Legal career[edit]

Beatty began his legal career by working for the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program, thus fulfilling a personal commitment to use his legal training to benefit those who could not afford paid legal representation. Following his tenure with the legal assistance program, he established a private practice in his home town, Spartanburg, South Carolina. During this time, Justice Beatty maintained a commitment to public service with his election to Spartanburg City Council, later moving to the state level with his election to the House of Representatives. During his tenure in the South Carolina General Assembly he served as a member of the Medical Military, Public and Municipal affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee. In addition, he served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman-elect of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.

State judicial service[edit]

After five years of distinguished service in the South Carolina General Assembly, he was elected to the Circuit Court in 1995 where he served as a trial judge until he was elevated to the Court of Appeals in 2003. In 2007, Beatty was elected as an Associate Justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Community service[edit]

His dedication to his community led to his service on the Piedmont Legal Services Board of Directors, Spartanburg Residential Development Corporation, Southside Neighborhoods Association Partnership, BB&T Advisory Board, BMW minority Advisory Board/BMW Construction Project, and many community organizations intent on uplifting our community. Justice Beatty also finds time to appear at various schools and often speaks to youth groups.

Awards received[edit]

He has received numerous awards for community service and leadership; among them are, Profile in Leadership Award from Benedict College, Honorary Doctor of Laws from South Carolina State University, Living Legend Award from the NAACP, Superior Achievement Award from the Donald James Sampson Chapter of the National Bar Association, Man of the Year from the Epsilon Nu Chapter, Omega Psi Phi, and the Vision Award from the South Carolina Business Network.

Nomination to district court[edit]

On February 25, 2016, President Obama nominated Beatty to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, to the seat vacated by Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, who assumed senior status on October 3, 2013. His nomination expired on January 3, 2017, with the end of the 114th Congress.[3][4]

See also[edit]