Hyder v. Edwards, 20473

Citation236 S.E.2d 561,269 S.C. 138
Decision Date21 July 1977
Docket NumberNo. 20473,20473
PartiesToy A. HYDER, Jr., Petitioner, v. Governor James B. EDWARDS, State Treasurer Grady Patterson, Jr., Comptroller General Earle E. Morris, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Rembert C. Dennis, Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee Tom G. Mangum, and Attorney General Daniel R. McLeod, Respondents.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina

Robert A. Hammett and Richard H. Rhodes, Burts, Turner, Hammett & Harrison, Spartanburg, for petitioner.

William M. Youngblood, Jr., Sinkler, Gibbs & Simons, Charleston, and James P. Fields, Jr., Cheraw, for respondents.

NESS, Justice:

This is a declaratory judgment action instituted in the original jurisdiction of this Court to determine the constitutionality of a resolution by the State Budget and Control Board dated April 20, 1977, authorizing the issuance of state capital improvement bonds.

An amendment of Article X of our State Constitution was proposed under the terms of Joint Resolution 750 of 1976. Pursuant to our constitutional amendatory process, the issue was submitted to the qualified electors in the general election of 1976 and a favorable vote was received. On May 4, 1977, the General Assembly ratified the amendment to Article X providing that the amendment should "become effective and shall be in force and effect from and after the 30th day of November, 1977." Act R-126 of the Acts of the General Assembly for 1977. A stay of the issuance of the improvement bonds by the State Budget and Control Board was ordered pending a hearing on the merits by this Court.

The sole issue presented is the propriety of the postponement of the operative date of the amendment. The amendment to Article X dictates significant changes in the uniform assessment of taxable property, property tax exemptions, bonded indebtedness, and the field of public finance generally. The resolution of the State Budget and Control Board proposes to pay the principal and interest on the capital improvement bonds by pledging the full faith, credit and taxing power of the State allegedly in contravention of Amended Article X. There is no contention that the resolution would be constitutionally suspect before the amendment. Hence, a determination of the effective date of the amendment to Article X will be dispositive of all the issues presented.

Our constitutional amendatory process is delineated in Article XVI, Section 1 of the South Carolina Constitution:

"Amendments. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives; provided, however, that for the general elections in 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1976 revision of an entire article or the addition of a new article may be proposed as a single amendment with only one question being required to be submitted to the electors. Such amendment may delete, revise and transpose provisions from other articles of the Constitution provided such provisions are germane to the subject matter of the article being revised or being proposed. If the same be agreed to by two thirds of the members elected to each House, such amendment or amendments shall be entered on the Journals respectively, with the yeas and nays taken thereon; and the same shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the State, at the next general election thereafter for Representatives; and if a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, voting thereon, shall vote in favor of such amendment or amendments, and a majority of each branch of the next General Assembly shall, after such election, and before another, ratify the same amendment or amendments, by yeas and nays, the same shall become part of the Constitution: Provided, that such amendment or amendments shall have been read three times, on three several days, in each House. Provided, that a proposed amendment providing for a change in the bonded debt limitation of a county or any of its political subdivisions shall be voted on only by the qualified electors of such county." 1976 S.C.Code of Laws.

South Carolina is thus unique in its three tiered procedure for amendment of our Constitution. First, the proposed amendment must be agreed to by two-thirds of the members of each House in the General Assembly. Second, the proposed amendment must be submitted and favorably approved by a majority of the voters during a general election. Finally, a majority of the next General Assembly must ratify the amendment.

Unquestionably, the requirements of Article XVI, Section 1, are mandatory and must be strictly complied with. Duncan v. Record Publishing Company, 145 S.C. 196, 143 S.E. 31 (1927). Procedurally, there is no viable contention that the amendatory process was defective or not strictly complied with; the amendment was constitutionally enacted and the only issue is the date of its effect and operation. Our Constitution is silent with respect to the date upon which an...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 cases
  • Taylor v. Roche, 20788
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • October 23, 1978
    ...of Canvassers, precludes him from contesting the election at this time? (2) Whether the decision of this Court in Hyder v. Edwards, 269 S.C. 138, 236 S.E.2d 561 (1977) constitutes Res judicata with respect to the validity of the adoption of new Article (3) Whether the question employed to s......
  • Celanese Corp. v. Strange, 20885
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • February 14, 1979
    ...concur. 1 The recent amendments to Article X that became effective November 30, 1977 are inapplicable to this appeal. Hyder v. Edwards, 269 S.C. 138, 236 S.E.2d 561 (1977). ...

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT