After waging a months-long war against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) lost his final battle yesterday, when the state supreme court ordered him to accept the $700 million in stimulus funds he had opposed. The court, in a unanimous decision made “with blazing fast speed,” took extra steps to try to ensure Sanford obeys their ruling:
The S.C. Supreme Court also took the rare step of issuing a writ of mandamus, which orders the governor to apply for the money. [...]
As for issuing the writ of mandamus, the other four justices said that “while we recognize and respect Governor Sanford’s sincerely held beliefs concerning (the federal law), those convictions do not alter the ministerial nature of the legal duty now before him.”
The justices added that the decision to issue a writ is “an extremely delicate one.”
$185 million will go to K-12 education this year, on July 1, and $100 million will go to state colleges. “I’m very excited that our schools and our teachers and our education system will be getting the funds that are so desperately needed here in South Carolina, and I’m glad the court case went our way,” said 18-year-old South Carolina student Casey Edwards, who filed the lawsuit.
Teachers across the state are expressing a “sigh of relief.”