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March 18, 2024

50 Years Later: Dick Riley’s Standing Impact on the SC Constitution

Nelson Mullins partner Dick Riley, former South Carolina governor and U.S. secretary of education, was recognized for his lasting contributions to South Carolina law at a special event in his honor on March 5. The event was led by Nelson Mullins partner Dwight Drake, who served as Governor Riley’s executive assistant for legislative and political affairs, along with William Hubbard, dean of the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law. 

"50 Years Later: Dick Riley's Standing Impact on the South Carolina Constitution" highlighted the significant milestones and hallmarks of Riley’s long and illustrious career. A prominent group of panelists and speakers led the audience through reflective discussions which focused on Riley’s contributions to five key amendments to the South Carolina Constitution.

Riley was influential on these amendments to the Constitution during his tenure on the West Committee, of which he is the last living member. He had a heavy hand in the creation of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, allowance of gubernatorial succession, creation of a unified judicial system, setting the state’s debt limit, and adoption of the “home rule” amendment.

With roughly 175 people in attendance, the symposium, which also served as continuing legal education, was a who’s who event attracting current and former elected officials, judges, attorneys, government relations professionals, and Riley’s former statehouse colleagues.

Scott Bauries and Derek Black, both professors at the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law, moderated the event. Panelists included Dwight Drake, Danny Crowe, former South Carolina State Senator Bill Doar, Professor Jim Flanagan, former South Carolina State Senator Bert Goolsby, South Carolina Supreme Court Justice John Kittredge, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey, Thomas Limehouse, Judge Jean Toal, and former South Carolina State Senator Dewey Wise.

The presentation was hosted by the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law, Nelson Mullins, The Riley Institute at Furman University, South Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society, and the South Carolina Bar.

Click here to view the photo gallery.

Watch: 2024 South Carolina Constitution Symposium