S.C. governor sues to block release of stimulus money (updated)

Image by Governor's officeImage by 20090521-sanford.jpg

Update May 22: Sanford has released a copy of the federal lawsuit (PDF) and it names S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster as the defendant as the one who "has authority to enforce the laws of the State of South Carolina."

Sanford is painting the suit as more about being in defense of the governor's office powers and less about the money, saying "The General Assembly’s attempt to legislate its way around policy decisions made by the Executive Branch sets a dangerous precedent for future South Carolina governors."

But the state's Legislators are countering that what they're doing is perfectly legal and Sanford is turning to the Federal government in hopes of a power grab that will trample state's rights. Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell said, "Governor Sanford says this court case is about the 'balance of power.' The truth is that this case is about his power. The Governor wants more of it, and he's willing to trample over states' rights to get it. He has run to the federal courts asking them to reinterpret our state Constitution so as to give him powers not granted to him by the people of South Carolina."

The State has done a good job of rounding everything up, go take a read.

First reporting:

Well, we all knew it would come to this.

Saying, "We believe the legislature’s end-around move on the stimulus won’t pass constitutional muster," S.C. Governor Mark Sanford has filed a preemptive lawsuit against the state General Assembly.

The announcement of course comes after the Legislature overrode Sanford's veto of a portion of the state budget that requires him to release the stimulus funds.

According to the budget bill, Sanford has five days to release the funds. At which point if he does not, it's probable he will be sued.

FITSNews has a nice editorialized write-up, while The State has an excellent write-up that also talks about some other vetoes.

Expect a copy of Lawsuit to be available shortly -- we'll add the link here.