Henry explains why court might reject suit

My old buddy Mike Fitts says Henry McMaster says that the state of SC has no objections to the Supreme Court hearing the lawsuit brought on behalf of a Chapin high school girl over the stimulus, but he also listed reasons why the court should reject her petition — including the fact that since she is about to graduate, she will soon no longer have standing.

If Henry’s right, Dick Harpootlian and Dwight Drake will have to run out and get a junior or a sophomore next time.

He had other reasons, which you can read in Mike’s story. One thing that did strike me as interesting, though:

McMaster said the court seems to be setting a quick timeline on the dispute. His office often gets 20 days to respond to an appeal for the court to bypass the lower state courts. This time, the court said Thursday it required a response by midday Monday.

“That indicates the court wants to move very quickly,” McMaster said.

That news is almost as exciting as the Senate taking up the budget this week…

12 thoughts on “Henry explains why court might reject suit

  1. Rich Post author

    Sounds to me as if the Supreme Court of S.C. plans to break the impasse between the legislature and the governor, thereby becoming, for the moment, the most effective and consequential branch of government.

    Sanford may have been talking all about the Tenth Amendment, but I think that the Supremacy Clause in the Federal Constitution (Art. 6, Sec. 1) is uppermost in the minds of the S.C. Supreme Ct.–for once!!

  2. kbfenner

    Someone on Laurin Manning’s Facebook page suggested the lawsuit facts might be one of those “capable of repetition yet evading review” ones, like Roe vs. Wade. Dunno–seems as if one could certainly try to find a plaintiff who was not fixing to graduate, except that I wonder if being 18 is required to sue in one’s one right…I’m not a litigator.

  3. Greg Flowers

    Seems to me that the GA has the much stronger suit. However if you read a selection of decisions involving standing from our Supremes you will probably come to the conclusion that they hear the cases they want to and reject the ones they do not on a somewhat arbitrary basis.

  4. laurin manning

    I actually didn’t respond to this on my Facebook thread, but I don’t think “capable of repetition yet evading review” applies in this case. It probably would if she were about to graduate from middle school b/c she’d be heading into high school, but there’s no chance this plaintiff will re-enroll in high school in SC after graduating.

    I must be missing something, though. Maybe it’s different because the “plaintiff” is petitioning the Supreme Court and asking them to review the question preemptively as opposed to waiting to until she’s actually aggrieved. Dunno.

  5. SCnative

    Citizens in the UK and Canada can appeal to the Queen to postpone enforcement of an act of Parliament until she obtains a ruling on the constitutionality from the high court.

    Here in America, one must show damages to even bring suit.
    In extreme circumstances, an injunction can be granted to prevent harm while the lawsuit proceeds.

    The state department of education is receiving at least $70,000,000 more this year than last year, so where is the harm to anyone, much less someone who will not be in the school system when the federal pork stimulus money is finally released?

  6. Greg Flowers

    It sounds to me like the Court is setting up to say that the executive has to act to facilitate a legislative appropriation. I hope not, that would be bad law.

  7. Rich Post author


    I hope you’re right in your second comment. Small government with limited regulation has been the problem for the last quarter century. The current economic collapse, torture, and the ravings of the religious right are the unholy trinity of the comprehensive failure of conservative ideology.

    With full and fair voting, we might finally be able to give South Carolina decent government as the current generation of age 50+ neo-confederates slips slowly into the sunset.

  8. Greg Flowers

    Help me out here. What did I say here that had anything to do with small government or who votes?

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