Jay Bender: A true public defender


Current, as well as former, newspaper publishers and editors, attorneys and even retired state Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal filled the banquet room at The Palmetto Club in Columbia on Friday night. They came to honor Jay Bender, who is winding down his career as a law professor at the University of South Carolina and as the South Carolina Press Association’s longtime attorney.

Truth be told, the event should have been in a much larger venue, not because it was too crowded — although it was a bit cramped — but rather because South Carolinians who value open government should have attended. Why? Because even if they do not personally know Jay Bender, their lives have been touched by his unwavering support of the state’s Freedom of Information Act and residents’ right to access what is and should remain open to the public. <Read More>