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State Supremes Rule Against Gov. Sanford:

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Governor Marc Sanford must request stimulus money for education as directed by the state legislature. Gov. Sanford says he will not appeal.

ruuffles (mail) (www):
Bunch of west coast liberal judicial activists meddling in state affairs. wait, what?
6.5.2009 10:22am
cboldt (mail):
The article also notes that the Federal case that he initiated was rejected on Monday. At this point there is a potential for an in-state constitutional crisis, should the governor refuse to comply with the orders of both the legislature and the SC state Supreme Court.
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He can either act on his principles as to what he urgently holds as the best interest of the state, or he can be the legislature/Court's hey-boy. If he chooses to act on his principle (the chances of that are basically zero), he could either resign, ore refuse to apply for the fed money and force the legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings, which they would easily pass.
6.5.2009 10:29am
gerbilsbite:
Deference to the Legislative branch against the Executive?!!

I may need to retire to my faintin' couch, for I feel a touch of the vapors!
6.5.2009 10:30am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

The governor said that while he was disappointed with Thursday's ruling, he plans to abide by the court's decision and will sign needed paperwork for the stimulus dollars.

paper
6.5.2009 10:40am
Guest101:
I'm by no means an expert in South Carolina civil procedure, but if the state supreme court ruled against him, to whom might the governor appeal?
6.5.2009 10:40am
rick.felt:
I'm by no means an expert in South Carolina civil procedure, but if the state supreme court ruled against him, to whom might the governor appeal?

SCOTUS, if there was a federal question.
6.5.2009 10:42am
rosetta's stones:
He's got no more bullets to fire. The SC SC is beholden to the legislature, as they're elected by the legislature. They could/should have recused themselves, if right were right, but they're lawyers, too, remember.

And Sanford could stand on principle and resign, but doesn't sounds like he's gonna.

So, sadly, the revolution will not be televised.
6.5.2009 10:54am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

They could/should have recused themselves, if right were right, but they're lawyers, too, remember.

According to their website, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Circuit COurt judges are all elected by the GA. So who is going to fill in if they're all recused?
6.5.2009 10:59am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
He had no intention of rejecting the stimulus money - without it, his economy would be comparatively worse than neighboring states. He knew he would, and wanted to, lose.

Now he can spend the money, get the economic benefit, and posture during the Republican primaries for 2012.
6.5.2009 11:01am
Justin (mail):
Agree with Smallholder. Best result politically for Sanford.
6.5.2009 11:08am
Bored Lawyer:

Bunch of west coast liberal judicial activists meddling in state affairs. wait, what?


There is no contradiction between this decision and federalism. A state should be free to accept or decline federal money.

But of course that leads to the question of who makes the decision for the "state." That should be a matter for internal State law -- probably a matter of state constitutional law. Here the State Supreme Court determined that the State legislature decides, not the governor, makes the decision.

If the people of South Carolina don't like it, they can amend their Constitution.

No external interference has occured.
6.5.2009 11:20am
Recovering Law Grad:
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Sanford wins the primary.
6.5.2009 11:29am
FWB (mail):
Actually, Congress is not empowered to spend money in this fashion or for any localized needs. Congress may spend monies ONLY "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;" Note the United States is a specific Body-politic and is NOT the People or the States. There is no delegation of authority "to pay the debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the "States" or of the "People".

If one takes the position that monies sent to a state are part of the "general Welfare of the United States", an entity distinct and separate from the People and from the States, then one must also accept that the Congress may pay the debts of any State should that State not have the funds to cover its debts. Taking it one step further, federal welfare payments are made under the guise of general Welfare which then makes the only proper reading of this clause one where the feds can pay even an individual's debts so Each of us should go out and spend a few million then call teh feds to pay it off for us.

The limitation on expenditures was included to make sure that the federal government was not stealing from Peter to pay Paul. The only legitimate federal expenditures are those that have application Union-wide. If the government lived within the narrowly defined (3 objects) rules of expenditures, tax rates would go down because the fed would have no need for all that money. But the fed usurps power, spending unconstitutionally in order to expand power oand control of the States and the People.

Tiochfaidh ar la!
6.5.2009 11:40am
Nunzio:
Maybe they can now educate the students on economics and the students can then educate Obama. Good result for everybody.
6.5.2009 11:42am
iowan (mail):
The reason the Gov stated for refusing the money was the strings attached. Now the Gov is free to take the money and ignore conditions ordered by the Feds. What are the Feds going to do? Whithhold the money the Gov doesnt want? Its a lot like the person wanting to commit suicide holding a gun to his own head when the cops show up with their guns drawn. Are the cops going to shoot?
6.5.2009 11:46am
CJColucci:
Veto the Maysville Road Bill!
6.5.2009 11:48am
cboldt (mail):
-- Actually, Congress is not empowered to spend money in this fashion or for any localized needs. --
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That train left the station decades ago.
6.5.2009 11:48am
cboldt (mail):
-- Now the Gov is free to take the money and ignore conditions ordered by the Feds. --
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No, he's not. He has been ordered by his state legislature to apply for the federal money in conformity with the parameters set forth in the federal law, which includes a promise to abide by the strings attached.
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He says he will follow the orders he has been given.
6.5.2009 11:51am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
How does this play with the deadline for acceptance? I thought that expired on June 1.
6.5.2009 11:52am
John McCall (mail):
6.5.2009 12:16pm
cboldt (mail):
Thanks for the link to the opinion. The governor gave up his principles on April 3, when he told the feds that the state would apply for the funds. I think the SC Court made the right call.
6.5.2009 12:39pm
M N Ralph:

No, he's not. He has been ordered by his state legislature to apply for the federal money in conformity with the parameters set forth in the federal law, which includes a promise to abide by the strings attached.



Agreed. SCarolina and Sanford will be subject to federal court rulings if he ignores the conditions imposed. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
6.5.2009 12:45pm
rosetta's stones:

So who is going to fill in if they're all recused?


ruffles... the federal courts? Run to the nanny state, SC!

Not likely to happen as we know, but it's hard to ignore that the SC SC is compromised by the legislature's power to dump them. But I'd agree, the people of SC set it up that way, so they must have compromised on that compromise, and the SC SC's compromised decision is (mostly) just executing within that compromise's framework.

I hope they at least have the governor nominating those judges, which would be a nice separation of powers process. How'd you like Harry Reid in charge of picking our judges?
6.5.2009 1:03pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

ruffles... the federal courts?

Has that ever happened? Every single eligible judge in an entire state recused him/herself and then the feds step in? That sounds ... bizarre. How could the federal courts have jurisdiction just because no state judges can hear the case?

How'd you like Harry Reid in charge of picking our judges?

Their website isn't clear on how the candidates are nominated. But presumably since the Republicans have both houses of the SC GA, there wouldn't be any liberals.
6.5.2009 1:07pm
rosetta's stones:
That's probably the root of all this, then, because it sounds like their body politic is a little inbred.
6.5.2009 1:24pm
alogos (mail):

"Under the constitution and laws of this State, the [South Carolina] General Assembly is the sole entity with the power to appropriate funds, including federal funds."

Oh great, as if Congress wasn't bad enough, now we all have to lobby Charleston as well?
6.5.2009 2:27pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

because it sounds like their body politic is a little inbred.

Ah too bad it's not one of their neighbors to their west; a nice joke ruined.
6.5.2009 2:54pm
keypusher64 (mail):
alogos :

"Under the constitution and laws of this State, the [South Carolina] General Assembly is the sole entity with the power to appropriate funds, including federal funds."

Oh great, as if Congress wasn't bad enough, now we all have to lobby Charleston as well?


Don't South Carolina lobbyists wish! But the capital is Columbia.
6.5.2009 4:25pm
Jam:
I do not know what is involved in "applying" for Federal Funds but, does Gov. Sanford have any wiggle room as to how much to apply for, how much info to supply? To what degree is S.C.'s executive is now under Federal control?
6.6.2009 11:15am
ReaderY:
Seems like the correct decision all around.

The recusal thing seems a total red herring. It seems to be an objection to South Carolina's constitutional structure. The state Supreme Court is duty-bound to abide by and perform its duties under that structure as it is.

The people of South Carolina chose to vest a Supreme Court whose members were selected by the legisture with the sole final power to adjudge state disputes. By doing this, they obviously expected that Supreme Court to routinely pass judgment on the legislature's acts. The framers obviously wouldn't have created this structure if they thought it a problem. If people think either South Carolina's method of selecting Supreme Court justices or those Justices' set of routine duties represents a bad idea, it's up to the people of South Carolina to amend their Constitution to choose otherwise.
6.7.2009 5:14am
Mikee:
This is an interesting experiment in that one or the other side will be demonstrated to have been correct in about 2 years, when South Carolina budget either has a huge deficit or not, and student test score rise in a jump, or not.

I'm not holding my breath, as I think this will result in no teachers' union member being left behind, despite the bills to come due later.
6.7.2009 11:10am

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