Over the years SCPIF has achieved numerous significant legal victories, and been directly responsible for a number of notable court decisions applying state law to governments and their officers. Some of these cases include:
South Carolina Public Interest Foundation v. SC Department of Transportation, Opinion No. 27738 (September 2017).
Action challenging the constitutionality of DOT’s inspection of three privately-owned bridges in a gated community. Held: (1) The issue is one of great public importance because it involves both the conduct of a government entity and the expenditure of public funds, and accordingly Petitioners have “public importance” standing to maintain the lawsuit; and (2) the DOT’s inspection of the privately owned bridges was unconstitutional because it contravened the constitutional requirement that the expenditure of public funds serve a public purpose.
South Carolina Public Interest Foundation v. Lucas, 416 SC 269, 786 S.E. 2d 124 (2016).
Action challenging the constitutionality of the inclusion of a particular proviso in the state’s annual appropriations act. Held: (1) That proviso, which suspended termination of the Governor’s power to appoint the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, was not germane to the purpose of the annual appropriations act, and therefore the act’s inclusion of such proviso violated the “single subject” requirement of the state constitution; and (2) when deciding a challenge to the annual appropriations act which alleges a violation of the constitution’s single subject requirement, the Supreme Court has the authority to excise any provision that is not germane to fiscal issues.