The South Carolina Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on Wednesday, December 8 at 9:30 am of the appeal of Judge Edgar W. Dickson’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s 2017 rulings. On June 19, 2020, South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edgar W. Dickson granted the motion made by our Diocese and Parishes for clarification and other relief related to the August 2017 ruling of the South Carolina Supreme Court. That clarification was needed because the 2017 ruling had the rare character of consisting of five separate opinions. Judge Dickson’s clarification determined that our parishes and the Diocese are, “affirmed as the title owners in fee simple absolute of their respective parish real properties”. TEC and TECSC appealed Judge Dickson’s decision to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Clerk has announced the following parameters for that day’s hearing. The only individuals allowed in the courtroom will be two attorneys representing each side. No other visitors will be allowed. Those wishing to view the proceedings will be able to do so online via the court’s livestream. Legal Counsel for TEC/TECSC will be granted an initial 25 minutes to present their arguments and respond to questions from the Justices. Our counsel (Mr. C. Alan Runyan and Mr. C. Mitchell Brown) will then be afforded 25 minutes to present their arguments. A final 10 minutes is then allocated for TEC/TECSC to make their reply. From that point, the outcome will be entirely in the hands of the South Carolina Supreme Court. As before, there is no timeline for when they will issue an opinion.
The importance of this hearing for the Diocese and its Parishes cannot be overstated. For that reason, the clergy and people of the Diocese are strongly encouraged to keep the coming hearing in your prayers as the date approaches. Pray first for the shielding of Mr. Runyan and his legal team as they prepare for this hearing. Pray also that they be granted divine wisdom in preparing their arguments. Pray finally for the Justices (Donald W. Beatty, John W. Kittredge, John Cannon Few, George C. “Buck” James) that they be granted divine clarity in their preparations, in the hearing and, in their final ruling.
While all are invited to pray wherever they are, the Prayer Center at St. Christopher will be hosting a virtual Prayer Vigil on Tuesday, December 7 from 9 a.m – 9 p.m. and an on-site Prayer Vigil at St. Christopher on Wednesday, December 8, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more.