Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sanford's case moves to State Court

Win some lose some

All parties agree the stimulus law has a key clause: “the Governor of a State desiring to receive an allocation ... shall submit an application.”

The law specifies that the governor must apply for and account for the stimulus money, Sanford’s attorney said, adding that federal law would pre-empt a state law allowing the Legislature to apply for the money.

The White House Office of Management and Budget agreed governors must apply for the money in a letter to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sanford’s lawyers add. The attorneys also note cases where state courts ruled the Legislature overstepped its authority and assumed executive control of state money.

“There are no cases that hold that the Legislature has the power to compel the Governor to apply for and receive federal funds ... in short, the decision whether to request (stimulus) funds from the Secretary of Education is a quintessential executive function,” Sanford’s brief concludes.

But Kenneth Childs, attorney for the S.C. Association of School Boards, argued that Sanford is misinterpreting the stimulus law. The state — not Sanford — must request the federal money.

Since Sanford won an order that moved one case to the federal court, it seems the argument presented by Sanford may have missed a federal point of law.

What would happen is; the federal court would look at their argument and kick it back to the state.

From the article written on the topic, Sanford's comments seem to be focused on state versus state and not enough on federal versus state.

Win some lose some.

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