The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Michael Anderson and Robert Barger, Plaintiffs-Petitioners,
South Carolina Election Commission; Marci Andino, as Executive Director and as a representative of the South Carolina State Election Commission; South Carolina Democratic Party; Richard A. Harpootlian, as Chair of the Executive Committee of and as a representative of the South Carolina Democratic Party; South Carolina Republican Party; Chad Connelly, as Chair of the Executive Committee of and as a representative of the South Carolina Republican Party; Lexington County Commission of Registration and elections; Dean Crepes, as Director of and as a representative of the Lexington County Commission of Registration and Elections; Lexington County Democratic Party; Kathy Hensley, as Chair of and as representative of the Lexington County Democratic Party; Lexington County Republican Party; Steven Isom, as Chair of and representative of the Executive Committee of the Lexington County Republican Party, Defendants-Respondents.
Plaintiffs-Petitioners have filed a petition asking the Court to hear this matter in our original jurisdiction and a motion to expedite the matter. Defendants-Respondents South Carolina Election Commission (the Commission) and Marci Andino, as Executive Director of the Commission, have filed returns agreeing that this matter should be heard in an expedited manner in the Court's original jurisdiction. In addition, the Commission and Andino have filed a cross-claim against the remaining defendants-respondents.
Because this is a matter involving the public interest in which time is of the essence, we grant the petition for original jurisdiction and the request to expedite this matter. Defendants-Respondents shall serve and file answers to the complaint and the cross-complaint by April 24, 2012. No reply shall be allowed.
By April 25, 2012, the parties shall agree on the matters to be included in the record. If the parties cannot agree, all matters designated by the parties shall be included in the record without prejudice to the right of plaintiffs-petitioners to move for costs pursuant to Rule 222(c), SCACR, for printing irrelevant matter. The plaintiffs-petitioners shall serve and file the record by April 26, 2012.
While time does not permit the filing of any formal briefs in this matter, a party may serve and file a memorandum of law by April 27, 2012. No response shall be permitted to any memorandum of law that is filed. This matter is hereby set for oral argument at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in the Courtroom of the Supreme Court in Columbia, South Carolina.
Due to the short time periods provided by this order, service shall be accomplished no later than 3:00 p.m. on the dates specified above, and all documents shall be served by hand-delivery, fax or e-mail. The documents filed with this Court shall be hand-delivered to this Court no later than 3:00 p.m. on the dates specified above. The parties shall serve one copy on each party (or their counsel if represented by counsel) to this matter and shall file fifteen (15) copies with this Court.
Finally, the South Carolina Election Commission is enjoined from sending out the ballots affected by this matter until further order of this Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
|s/Jean Hoefer Toal C.J.
FOR THE COURT
Columbia, South Carolina
April 20, 2012