Having a busy workday today, and don’t really have time a lot of time to dwell on the SC Supreme Court’s sensible decision in stopping Nikki Haley from violating the separation of powers. The salient part:
Chief Justice Jean Toal and justices Donald Beatty and Kaye Hearn voted to block Haley’s order to call lawmakers back at 10 a.m. Tuesday, writing that the General Assembly “has not adjourned … and, therefore, is still in its annual session. Under these specific facts, respondent (Gov. Nikki Haley) cannot convene an ‘extra’ session of the General Assembly since it is currently in session. To do so would interrupt the annual session and would violate the General Assembly’s authority to set its calendar and agenda and would constitute a violation of the separation of powers provision.”
That was the thing. My good friend Kevin Hall (the governor’s attorney) had stated rather forcefully that the governor has the authority to call back lawmakers. Yeah. But she can’t call them BACK when they’re still in session (although in recess), and already have a defined agenda, and tell them have a whole other session in the middle of this one, and use it to do what I want. As I’ve said before, I am for having a much stronger governor in South Carolina (which is why I agree with the gov on three of the four things she wants). But I want a chief executive with more power to run the executive branch, not dictate legislative matters to a coequal branch.
A perceptive friend who doesn’t follow this stuff as obsessively as I do said, after reading The State‘s story, that Glenn McConnell doesn’t seem to think much of the governor. Well, to be fair, Glenn McConnell doesn’t think much of any governor, although they’re all right in his book as long as they know their place.
After saying in his courtly way that he would be happy to support amending the agenda when lawmakers come back as planned so as to allow them to take up the matters that concern the governor, he said this:
“I support the bills, and we’ll vote (on whether) to put them in the sine die,” McConnell said Monday, referring to the resolution that lays out the bills that senators can consider when they return. “But I’m only one of 46 senators. If (Haley) will use as much energy to get votes as she did to run over the Constitution, she’ll make it. She needs to get out and get the votes. The ball is in her court.”
I was busy laughing at the Senate president pro tem’s statement that “I’m only one of 46 senators” (he is such a wacky cutup) but when I got to the next sentence, I was like, “Whoa! Sen. McConnell is not amused…”