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Supreme Court Tosses Budget Board Case November 19, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.

supreme court


FITSNews – November 19, 2007 – Already reeling from one major scandal, the S.C. Supreme Court may have created another one for itself today by casually dismissing a lawsuit brought against the powerful S.C. Budget and Control Board.

In a 4-0 ruling (Chief Justice Jean Toal did not participate in the decision), the Court dismissed a petition filed earlier this summer by Change SC Now, a group supportive of the agenda of Gov. Mark Sanford. No justification whatsoever was provided for the decision.

With public confidence in the Judiciary currently at an all-time low in South Carolina, now probably would have been a good time for the Court to at least act like it was taking its obligation to the people seriously. Unfortunately, they ignored a host of compelling arguments that the legislature overstepped its bounds earlier this year during the fiasco accompanying Converse Chellis‘ election as State Treasurer.

They may have also ignored their own rules in accepting “original jurisdiction” in the case and then refusing to give the parties involved a chance to argue its merits.

Nice job, Supremes. South Carolina’s “banana republic” status is certainly safe in your capable hands.



1. What? - November 19, 2007

The reality is that Change SC Now can just initiate an action in trial court and get a chance to present their “host of compelling arguments” to a lower court. So, its not really scandal story material. But keep bird dogging the Supreme Court and maybe you’ll find something! Might want to understand the rules before you start making judgment calls on them too. But, as you’ve shown so many times in the past, “understanding” is not a prerequisite to a popular scandal story, just a blog with the right amount of politics, comedy, and boobs.

2. FITSNews - November 19, 2007

Is that a compliment or a criticism? Or a little of both?

And we happen to think our boob-to-politics ratio is about right …


3. Hmmmm... - November 19, 2007

The fundamental problem with the lawsuit is that it’s stupid. Like it or not — and quite frankly, I don’t — the Legislature did what it was constitutionally bound to do. It elected a treasurer. Unfortunately, the constitution doesn’t prohibit the Legislature from picking a sock puppet.

Could you elaborate on the host of compelling arguments?

4. i'll take this - November 19, 2007

The legality of legislative appointment, the legality of the legislative appointment being a legislator, the legality of the board as an entity in and unto itself, the legality of the whole damn corrupt house of cards!!!!

Fitsey you are onto sometihng here!!! Dont let the bastards grind you down!!!!!

5. Syd - November 19, 2007

Ah, must be those famed activist judges we keep hearing so much about…when it suits your purpose.

6. King Richard - November 19, 2007

Pick a legislator or pick a large pocket of money. good pick in Converse.

7. Hmmmm... - November 19, 2007

1. Legality of the legislative appointment: Called for by the constitution.

2. Legality of the legislative appointment being a legislator: A. There would seem to be no constitutional prohibition. B. He’s no longer a legislator.

3. Legality of the board as an entity in and unto itself: Already been ruled on by the Supreme Court.

Bottom line is I agree with you. The legislative body now has control of the BCB. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t smell good. But this is a lawsuit that goes nowhere for a couple of reasons.

First, the Supremes have to uphold the constitution. And the constitution, for whatever reason, says the legislature picks the treasurer. Game over.

And second, who is it that gives the Supremes their jobs?

8. Anon - November 19, 2007

Latest from the Supremes on the bar exam controversy.


9. sc atty - November 20, 2007

Still doesn’t explain Catherine Harrison’s Facebook comments and Kendall Burch’s “judicial” email. And the State is reporting that the Court has rejected a FOIA request.

Impeach them all.

10. Ben Tillman - November 20, 2007

Dear Hmmm: the constitution does not provide for the legislature to elect the treasurer. The legislature gave itself that power by statute. But don’t feel bad: Sen. McConnell, chairman of Senate Judiciary, made the same mistake. All of which begs this question, however: does anyone bother to read that f-ed up 1895 blueprint passed by the fathers of Jim Crowe?

11. sc atty - November 20, 2007

. . . or we should change our name from South Carolina to West Pakistan

12. The Observer - November 20, 2007

bottom line is the state supremes have ruled on this issue 4 times in the last 3 decades…and they have ruled with the state. Just like the US Supreme Court, our court does not have to hear all cases that are presented, they can choose to hear them and issue an opinion or they can choose not to. It’s actually quite simple. Maybe they will issue an opinion on the Governor’s money laundering scandal….I bet then, someone will hope the the Supremes take a pass as well..

13. Ben Tillman - November 20, 2007

Observer: it’s actually quite simple. The state supreme court DID decide to hear this case — contrary to your suggestion, it granted original jurisdiction and then violated its own rule by granting a motion to dismiss without allowing the parties to address the merits. South Carolina Appellate Rule 229(c) reads: “Unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, the petition shall be decided without oral argument. If the petition is granted, the respondent shall have 30 days to serve and file an answer to the complaint.”

Under this rule, the Supreme Court in a setting such as this one is supposed to first determine whether it will accept original jurisdiction and if so, over what parts of the case. Next, the Court issues a scheduling order with respect to an Answer or other responsive pleading by the Respondents and the merits are addressed through briefing and/or argument. That procedure was not followed here.

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