SC Supreme Court rules against Haley's call for extra session
Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:17:40 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Monday evening against Gov. Haley's order to call lawmakers back for an extra session.
The 3-2 decision issues a permanent injunction against her executive order that requires legislators to report to work Tuesday. Read the full decision here.
"In light of the South Carolina Supreme Court's decision, the House will not meet in session tomorrow," House Speaker Bobby Harrell. "We are in the process of contacting House members to notify them of this new development. The House plans to meet again, as originally scheduled, on June 14th for a special Sine Die session. The timeline and scope of issues that can be addressed during this session are outlined in the adopted Sine Die Resolution."
The state's Senate leader filed a lawsuit Monday against the Republican governor, saying she has no authority to call lawmakers back to work as she presses for legislation to get passed. Read Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell's entire lawsuit here .
The Legislature recessed for a one-week break Thursday before returning for a June 14 wrap-up session. But Haley immediately issued an executive order saying lawmakers must return Tuesday in an extra session.
Gov. Haley says she's not happy with the court's decision, but hopes the matter will still be taken care of.
It is unfortunate that today three of the five members of the Supreme Court disagreed with every other court in the nation and the attorney general," Haley said in response to the court's ruling. "But we must move on, and Sen. McConnell now insists that he ~support[s] the effort to add those items to the Senate's agenda when [they] return on June 14. TM We expect him to be true to his word, and that as Senate President Pro Tempore he will ensure the Senate take up " and pass " these critical government reforms first thing next Tuesday. The people of this state have demanded this, and the Senate needs to deliver.Related Stories Senate leader to file lawsuit challenging special session Gov. Haley's executive order
There was mixed reaction to Haley's order from Senators last week. Dorchester Republican Senator Mike Rose agreed with Gov. Haley.
"I personally applaud the governor for using one of the few tools at her disposal to try and turn the spot light on the legislature," Rose said.
Republican Senator Larry Grooms said he'd return to Columbia, adding "I do believe there are a number of constitutional and legal issues that need to be worked out before we take any votes on legislation."
Charleston Democrat Senator Robert Ford spoke out strongly against the idea. "If we go back, we're violating the law," Ford said. "It's unconstitutional for us to be there."
"Attorney General Alan Wilson reiterated his legal support for our authority to call the General Assembly into special session, and it's disappointing to see Senator McConnell involve the Court today," Haley said. "What we have offered Senators is an extended opportunity, which they asked for, to finish the people's business."
Haley wants the Legislature to approve her government restructuring legislation. The House had approved the measures but the Senate hasn't considered them.
What do you think? Should the legislature be required to return to Columbia on Tuesday? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in our comment section below.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)