TRIBUTE TO CHIEF JUSTICE ERNEST A. FINNEY, JR.; Congressional Record Vol. 146, No. 29
(Extensions of Remarks - March 15, 2000)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E323]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. JAMES E. CLYBURN

                           of south carolina

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, March 15, 2000

  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Ernest A. Finney, 
Jr., who will retire on March 23, 2000, as Chief Justice of the South 
Carolina Supreme Court.
  Ernest Finney moved to Orangeburg, SC, from Virginia as a teenager 
when his father became the Dean of Claflin College in Orangeburg. He 
received his undergraduate degree from Claflin, and later his law 
degree from South Carolina State College.
  Although an attorney, Mr. Finney began his career as a teacher in 
Conway, SC, where he supplemented his teaching salary by waiting 
tables. He attended his first meeting of the South Carolina Bar as a 
waiter, because blacks were not allowed membership in the state bar 
  After practicing civil rights law in my hometown Sumter, of South 
Carolina for a number of years, Mr. Finney began his distinguished 
public service career in 1973 when he was elected to the South Carolina 
House of Representatives, where he served until his election as Judge 
of the Third Judicial Circuit in 1976. On April 3, 1985, Mr. Finney was 
elected Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, becoming 
the first African American to hold that office since Reconstruction. On 
May 11, 1994, Justice Finney was elected Chief Justice of the South 
Carolina Supreme Court.
  In addition to his duties on the court, Chief Justice Finney is 
devoted to his family and community. He is married to the former 
Frances Davenport and is the father of three fine children--Lynn C., a 
college professor, Ernest A. III, and Jerry Leo, both attorneys. He is 
the grandfather of two--Amanda and Felicia. Chief Justice Finney is a 
dedicated alumnus of Claflin College, where he serves on the Board of 
Trustees, and is a long time member of Emmanuel United Methodist 
Church. He has been a role model and mentor for legions of young 
  Mr. Speaker, Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr. guided the Supreme 
Court of South Carolina and the state judiciary with a steady, balanced 
hand. I ask that you and my colleagues join me in saluting him on the 
occasion of his retirement for a job well done.