South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed suit today with the South Carolina Supreme Court asking it to declare the City of Columbia’s school mask mandate void because it violates state law. Besides the City of Columbia, the lawsuit mentions and would also apply to all cities, towns, counties, and school boards that have passed or are seeking to pass mask mandates.
The lawsuit does not question whether masks are effective or a good idea but is based on the importance of following state law. Attorney General Wilson encourages everyone to wear masks when appropriate and encourages anyone who can to get the COVID vaccination. However, the General Assembly passed a budget proviso that prohibits schools or school districts from requiring masks.
The lawsuit points to the Court’s recent ruling in the Creswick v. University of South Carolina and Wilson case, which says, “that appropriation provisos must be construed ‘as . . . written.’ Like this Court’s holding, our bringing this action ‘is not an approval or disapproval of a mandate, nor is it an approval or disapproval of an attempt by the General Assembly to prohibit a mandate.’ Creswick, n. 4. The rule of law must prevail.
“This Court has observed that ‘[w]ithout a legislature and the exercise of the power to appropriate funds . . . anarchy and chaos would pervade society. There would not be a republican form of government.’”