Jun 04 2009

South Carolina Supreme Court Decision on Federal Stimulus Funds

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the South Carolina Supreme Court decision forcing the Governor to apply for the stimulus funding.

"While I have great respect for the Court, I am very concerned this decision has caused great damage to separation of powers within our state government. Separation of powers is a concept that has served our state and nation well.

"While I disagreed with the Governor's decision to not apply for the stimulus funds, I believe it was his decision to make under the federal statute.

"With today's ruling it appears our courts have substituted the General Assembly's discretion for that of the Governor. One could easily see it, in a legal sense, as an assault on the highest office in our state. This decision will erode the power of the governor to make discretionary decisions conferred upon him by the federal government.

"If the governor is unable to perform the task set forward in the federal law, I fear that the governorship has, in many ways, been reduced to a ministerial job.

"The office of the Governor is the highest elected position in the state and one in which every eligible voter has the opportunity to have a say on. Long after the $700 million in stimulus funds is exhausted the impact of this ruling will continue to be felt. I fear today's decision will haunt our state for decades to come."