A Conversation with Judge Finney: A Lifetime of Success

Ernest A. Finney Jr. earned his juris doctor degree from South Carolina State University. Finney earned a reputation as an outstanding defense lawyer and civil rights advocate. In 1972, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives and was subsequently appointed a member of the House Judiciary Committee, making him the first African American to serve on that committee. Finney was one of the founders of the Legislative Black Caucus and was quick to say of his career and accomplishments, he didn’t do it alone. In May 1994, he was elected Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. He retired from the S.C. Supreme Court in 2000 and was named interim president of S.C. State University in 2002. He died on Dec. 3, 2017.

A Conversation with Judge Finney


Ernest A. Finney, Jr., was born in Smithfield, Virginia during the depression, on March 23, 1931. His mother died 10 days after he was born and his father was a teacher who traveled as part of his...