Attorney General asks SC Supreme Court to rule on constitutionality of Heritage Act

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – SC Attorney General Alan Wilson on Thursday sent a letter to the SC Supreme Court requesting that the Court assume Original Jurisdiction over a case challenging the constitutionality of the Heritage Act.

Wilson argues that the Supreme Court should take the case under Rule SCAR 245(a), as it is a matter of public interest:

“Original jurisdiction is appropriate when the ‘[q]uestions involved are of such wide concern [to the public], that the court should determine the issues in this declaratory judgement action.”

Since the Heritage Act “touches virtually every community in the State,” Wilson believes that “only [the Supreme] Court could make a determination as to whether the Heritage Act violates the State Constitution.”

In the wake of social movements that have called for the removal of monuments such as the John C. Calhoun statue, Wilson has been asked to offer advisory opinions regarding the constitutionality of the act; he has issued four so far this year. However, that is the extent of his authority over the matter.

Wilson explained that he “possesses no authority to issue a binding ruling either as to whether or not the Act is applicable in a given instance, or what action may be taken.” He can only “advise the requester to seek relief from the courts or from the General Assembly.”

As such, Wilson is hoping to defer to the opinion of the highest Court in the state.

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