… or, at least, does so to the extent that a mere Attorney General’s opinion can do. Basically, Henry says the Clyburn amendment can’t bypass Gov. Sanford, on account of the 10th amendment.
There also seems to be some separation of powers stuff going on. Here’s a copy of Henry’s letter, which says “the General Assembly itself may not coerce the executive branch to act in accordance with the legislative will.
James Clyburn, meanwhile, is ticked:
ECONOMIC RECOVERY DEBATE: CLYBURN STATEMENT ON McMASTER OPINION
WASHINGTON, DC—House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today responded to an opinion released by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster about the interpretation of the so-called “Clyburn workaround amendment,” Section 1607 in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Today the State of South Carolina added another chapter in its ongoing effort to maintain a standard of minimally adequate education. For over 100 years, the last 20 in state courts, leaders in our state have fought to uphold that standard. Over the last several weeks and without even going to court—the proper venue to determine constitutionality of federal laws—Attorney General McMaster, Governor Sanford and Senator Graham have gone out of their way to ensure that South Carolina continues its long history of providing a minimally adequate education.
“Rather than renewing the age old debate over States’ Rights and the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution our leadership should be seeking common ground to provide our schools the funds they need to retain teachers and maintain healthy, safe buildings in which our students can learn.
“What makes ‘state stabilization’ funding different from the funding Governor Sanford has authorized to rebuild highways or increase unemployment checks? Why aren’t Attorney General McMaster and Senator Graham calling on Governor Sanford to use the very same pen to accept the state stabilization money—which our taxpayers are providing—to retain teachers and give our state’s schools the opportunity to move beyond their minimally adequate legacy?”
If you ask me, there’s a lot more going on here than some sort of Democrat-vs.-Republican tug of wills over “minimally adequate” schools. But then, Rep. Clyburn didn’t ask me.
Neither, obviously, did the governor. So what do we do now? I don’t know. Maybe y’all have some ideas.