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Supreme Court Issues Order Regarding State Ethics Commission Case

An order has been issued providing for the filing of returns and replies regarding the petitions for writs of mandamus filed by Governor Sanford and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.    Additionally, the order schedules oral argument for October 19, 2009.


2009-10-05-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Governor Mark Sanford, Petitioner,

v.

South Carolina State Ethics Commission and Herbert R. Hayden, Jr., in his official capacity as Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission, Respondents.

and

The Honorable Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Petitioner,

v.

South Carolina State Ethics Commission and Herbert R. Hayden, Jr., in his official capacity as Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission, Respondents.


ORDER


Governor Mark Sanford has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in this Court’s original jurisdiction.  Respondents have filed a return in opposition to the petition for a writ of mandamus.  The Governor’s reply is due by noon on Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

In the meantime, The Honorable Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, has filed a motion to intervene in the action filed by the Governor.  The motion is granted and Speaker Harrell is hereby allowed to intervene as a respondent in the action filed by the Governor.  Any response Speaker Harrell wishes to file to the Governor’s petition for a writ of mandamus must be served and filed by October 9, 2009.  The Governor and respondents shall have until October 14, 2009, to serve and file a reply to any response Speaker Harrell may choose to file.

Speaker Harrell has also filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in this Court’s original jurisdiction.  This petition will be treated as a separate action and shall bear the following caption:  The Honorable Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Petitioner, v. South Carolina State Ethics Commission and Herbert R. Hayden, Jr., in his official capacity as Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission, Respondents.  Respondents shall have until October 9, 2009, to serve and file a return to Speaker Harrell’s petition.  Speaker Harrell shall have until October 14, 2009, to serve and file a reply to respondents’ return.

Due to the relatively short time periods established by this order, any filing with this Court or service on opposing counsel in either matter shall be by hand delivery.

These matters will be consolidated for the purpose of oral argument, which will be held on Monday, October 19, 2009, in the courtroom of the South Carolina Supreme Court building, at 2:30 p.m.

Finally, the pendency of these matters should in no way prevent the staff of the South Carolina State Ethics Commission from continuing with its ongoing investigation of the underlying ethics matter.  However, no information regarding the investigation shall be disseminated prior to a ruling by this Court on the petitions for a writ of mandamus before it.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

  s/Jean H. Toal           C.J.
FOR THE COURT

Columbia, South Carolina
October 5, 2009