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SC Supreme Court

  • On this edition of the South Carolina Lede for September 4, 2021, we break down the South Carolina Supreme Court's decision this week that found Columbia's mask mandate for schools to be illegal. Also on this episode: new analysis of CDC data by The New York Times finds that the Palmetto State has the highest per capita COVID-19 case rate in the country; HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge visits the state to promote vaccinations; and much more.
  • South Carolina's highest court on Thursday tossed out a school mask mandate in Columbia, saying it contradicts a state budget measure aimed at preventing face covering requirements.
  • South Carolina's highest court is considering two challenges to a state rule limiting the ability of school districts to require masks for students and educators. The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over the state legislature's June decision to write a state budget item threatening school districts with withholding state money if they required masks. The city of Columbia and Richland 2 School District both oppose the measure. Their lawyers argued that a mask prohibition doesn't belong in the state budget as state law requires legislation to have one clear subject. Attorneys for the state said lawmakers can ban or allow masks because state funds pay for the salaries of teachers enforcing such mandates.
  • South Carolina's highest court will hear two challenges to the state's refusal to let school districts require masks for students and teachers this week. The state Supreme Court has set aside two hours to hear the cases Tuesday. South Carolina lawmakers passed an item in the state budget in June threatening school districts with losing state money if they required masks. The local governments involved in the cases are Columbia and Richland 2 schools. They will likely argue that requiring or banning masks has no place in the state budget, a bill whose purpose is to raise and spend money. South Carolina law requires legislation to have one clear subject.
  • Some school districts and counties, and the City of Columbia have defied the state prohibition and ordered mask mandates in schools sparking growing pressure on the General Assembly to meet to repeal the prohibition.
  • More public colleges and universities in South Carolina are requiring people wear masks on campus to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after the state's Supreme Court ruled the schools can legally do so.
  • A former South Carolina prosecutor who served time in federal prison for stealing public money for hotel rooms and foreign trips has been disbarred. The state Supreme Court took the action Wednesday. Justices wrote that Dan Johnson "admits misconduct, consents to disbarment, and agrees to pay costs." Johnson was elected the chief prosecutor for Richland and Kershaw counties in 2010.
  • South Carolina's Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a state law requiring sex offenders to register for life, without prior judicial review, is unconstitutional.