Cindi cites Her Alleged Majesty for contempt

As was anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the rule of law, Cindi Scoppe was aghast at our governor’s behavior last week, both when she goaded the state GOP to defy the law in order to help rid her of a troublesome senator, and when her office responded childishly to the State Election Commission’s refusal to play along.

But Cindi wasn’t struck speechless. From her column Sunday:

If the governor had been the one speaking, she might have added, L’etat, c’est moi.

At least when Louis XIV said it, he had a legal basis to do so. He was, after all, an absolute monarch.

When our founding fathers created this nation, they didn’t just reject the British monarch. They rejected the idea of a monarchy. They rejected imperial rule. And nowhere in the fledgling nation was that concept more thoroughly rejected than here in South Carolina.

The governor of South Carolina isn’t even a real governor. Yet this one fancies herself royalty. An autocrat. With the divine right of queens. L’etat, c’est moi.

She had already demonstrated that she was hypocritical. And careless with the truth. And imperious. Now add lawless. And contemptuous.

Actually, it’s the court that needs to add that last one.

Although the Election Commission blocked the party’s effort to defy a court order, that doesn’t change the fact that the party, at the urging of our governor, acted in a way that was “calculated to obstruct, degrade, and undermine the administration of justice.” That’s the definition of contempt of court, which our Supreme Court has said judges should punish in order to “preserve the authority and dignity of their courts.”

The court cannot ignore such blatant disregard for its orders. It needs to find the governor in contempt. And while it’s at it, it should do the same to the state Republican Party, and the Florence County Republican Party. This is about far more than the candidates who have been mistreated by our state. It’s about the authority of the court itself.

But Nikki Haley wouldn’t know anything about that.

15 thoughts on “Cindi cites Her Alleged Majesty for contempt

  1. tired old man

    Queen Jean the Supreme does need to rattle some cages here. The bottom line is that the judiciary is one of three equal branches of government, and when the executive unleashes an in-your-face political attack, the judicial arm must respond. The Supreme Court had issued an unequivocal ruling that the law is the law, to which the GOP executive committee very defiantly thumbed its collective nose — and the governor added a one-digit salute.

    Also, while I thoroughly agreed with Cindi, did she not whiffle at calling Nikki out for such blatant and contemptuous actions on behalf of ONLY one of 180 people kicked off the ballot by the courts?

    It seems to me that Nikki made herself about 179 enemies there — while Jakie Knotts just got madder by Nikki’s solitary effort on behalf of Katrina Shealy, the candidate kicked off Jakie’s ballot.

    (And speaking of three branches, let’s remember Gaffney’s resident troglodyte Harvey Peeler is attempting to thwart some much needed funding for the judicial branch — apparently acting in continuation of a personal partnership with Nikki. And, why do they still insist on calling him a dairy farmer when he and brother Bob sold out years ago?)

  2. bud

    In the words of the recently departed Robin Gibb Nikki Haley’s political career seems to just barely be “Stayin’ Alive”. I suspect she will be a one termer if she makes it that long.

  3. Mike F.

    She sent this out on Sunday around midday. It doesn’t include a reference to Cindi, but the inference seemed pretty clear to me, at least.

    “And sometimes there are no words for the actions of others……People will justify these actions with all types of excuses but I wonder how they sleep night.”

  4. Karen McLeod

    Surprise, surprise. Have you never heard of the Divine Right of Govenors? Ms. Haley obviously has.
    But then when has she respected the laws?

  5. Mark Stewart

    A little perspective here seems in order. The governor didn’t make the law that conflicted with its twin. Neither did she make the parties in charge of accepting challenger canidacies. The legislature did. I think the court made this clear.

    Nikki was using her bully pulpit; as is her right as governor. What she didn’t do was articulately explain that in this case two wrongs MAY make a right – and do it in a way that rose above the muck that had preceeded her diatribe. What she did do was once again demonstrate that she is in over her head.

    Someone other than Shealy has an opportunity to unseat Jake. That would be the only justice here.

  6. Bart

    Well, at least you have someone who can “try” to run against good ol’ Jake. Around these parts of SC, we have Hugh Leatherman. No one runs against him. In fact, when time comes, they will make a concrete casting of Hugh at the concrete company he owns or once owned, sit it in his old seat with a tape recording repeating the same rhetoric he has espoused for years. Heck, who could tell the difference anyway?

  7. Lynn T

    Mark, just to keep this straight, there isn’t a law that “conflicts with its twin” in this issue. There is no inconsistency. One can argue that the relevant laws are unnecessarily complex, but they are clear and unambiguous, and do not conflict with one another.

  8. Mark Stewart


    I’m a rational guy. I don’t do calisthenics of the absurd. The process to run for office can be involved, cumbersome even, but it should not be bizarre, counter-intuitive or irrational.

    In any event, it seems clear that this paper declaration wasn’t designed by the legislature to set a trap for the unprepared to protect incumbency. I could accept that; though I would find it as sleazy as a lot of other stuff that goes on in the State House. No, this was just what happens when legislation is haphazardly enacted. It reflects poorly on the legislative process and all those elected to pass laws for our state.

    This was a technical violation. At other points in time I would guess that the supreme court would have considered the issue in that light; especially for those candidates who electronically filed with the state by the deadline. The rule of law deserves fair and just adjudication. Excessively narrow, aggenda-driven rulings are as unhelpful to that end as is haphazard, self-serving or Machiavellian legislation which demands such review.

  9. Boss Hogg Haley

    First it was that “little girl”, Renee Dudley from the Post and Courier in Charleston writing bad things about me.

    Now another “little girl”, Cindi Scoppe from The State, is writing more bad things about me.

    All South Carolina citizens bow down before me. I am Queen of SC.

  10. JoanneH

    What scares me about Her Haley-ness is that she DOES sleep well at night.

    She’s just that scary.

  11. Kathy

    Mark, Her Royal Highness was one of the main sponsors of the problematic bill. Undoubtedly, her courtiers did not have time to ascertain that the bill conflicted with a law already on the books. I didn’t realize that “accountants” could be involved with the passage of “haphazard” legislation. After all as Her Royal Highness has stated so eloquently in the past, “Accountants can do anything.”

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