Nikki Haley Loses Another Costly “Occupy Columbia” Ruling

Two years later, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s attorneys continue to waste taxpayer money defending her against the allegation that she unfairly targeted protesters affiliated with the Occupy Columbia movement. And they continue losing … This week, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia affirmed a lower court…

Two years later, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s attorneys continue to waste taxpayer money defending her against the allegation that she unfairly targeted protesters affiliated with the Occupy Columbia movement.

And they continue losing …

This week, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia affirmed a lower court ruling which concluded that Haley violated the First Amendment rights of the Occupy protesters.  In other word the governor is 0-for-2 in using your money to argue that she had a right to suppress the free speech of an organization she disagreed with (imagine that).

“The Occupy Columbia protesters have stated a viable claim that (Haley and other state officials) violated their First Amendment rights to assemble and protest peacefully on the grounds of the South Carolina State House in the absence of a valid time, place, or manner regulation,” the Fourth District court found. “There were no existing time, place, and manner restrictions on the protesters’ First Amendment activities on the State House grounds. Therefore, Appellants violated these rights by removing the protesters from the grounds.”

Cut and dried, right?  Right … unless of course you’re a “Tea Party” governor looking for something to distract impressionable voters from your real record.

Two years ago, U.S. District Court Judge Cameron Currie ruled that the Occupy Columbia protesters have a right to remain on the grounds of the S.C. State House at any hour of the day or night – with their tents and sleeping bags.

Currie’s ruling was issued a month after Haley had nineteen protesters arrested for refusing to “peaceably disassemble.”

Haley claimed she had “qualified immunity” for the arrests.

“The problem is that if the government had qualified immunity from suits alleging constitutional rights violations, then people wouldn’t really have rights because there would be nothing to stop the government from violating those rights,” one legal analyst told FITS.


As we reported exclusively two years ago, though, the real scam here is the taxpayer money that’s being wasted on attacking this movement (which was a dud from the beginning).

Seriously … Haley could (and should) have simply ignored Occupy Columbia.  Doing so would have saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But she was intent on picking a fight … with our money.

After Haley ordered the eviction and arrest of the protesters, the S.C. Budget and Control Board (SCBCB) – the quasi-legislative, quasi-executive agency in charge of the State House grounds – was sued. At that point, officials with the state’s insurance reserve fund concluded that the claims being made against the state were covered under the SCBCB’s policy –  meaning Haley’s legal bills would be paid for by taxpayers.

Haley didn’t want the state’s attorneys to represent her, though, and so she petitioned the S.C. Attorney General’s office for permission to access its “pre-paid legal program,” an additional insurance policy the state operates for workplace disputes.

This petition enabled Haley to retain her own political attorneys (on your dime) – which is interesting behavior coming from a so-called taxpayer watchdog who railed against attorneys throughout her 2010 campaign.

Heck, Haley is still railing against attorneys … or trying to.

Anyway, Haley needs to end this charade.  She clearly violated the First Amendment rights of these protesters via her clumsy eviction – and further appeals will only unnecessarily waste additional taxpayer resources.

Of course Haley has already vowed to take the case “all the way to the Supreme Court,” so we shouldn’t expect common sense to prevail anytime soon …


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Original Good Old Boy December 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Will. As I recall you first supported her crackdown until it became apparent that it was against the law. Then you went back and whitewashed your previous support from the article. Just saying.

Evans T. Mergatroid December 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

So…the legality of Haley’s position hinged on Will Folks’ initial assessment and the fact that he liked the idea of shutting down the Occupy protests means that our tax money was wisely spent? I’m trying to follow why, as a taxpayer, I should care what Will Folks thought and why this analysis is off-the-mark for not including that irrelevant information.

Original Good Old Boy December 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My comment was not directed towards the substance of the article but rather the author’s credibility.

The Unknown Comic December 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Does anyone else think “Porta Potty” when reading about the “occupy movement”?

A face in the crowd December 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Someone should be charged with keeping a running total of what Haley and her idiot appointees are costing (and will cost) the state of South Carolina with their knee-jerk decisions. Is anyone following the lawsuits filed by the parents of TB-infected students and the DHEC nurses used as scapegoats?

sam December 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

The Insurance Reserve office is responsible for tracking the lawsuits against Haley and her appointees. The number is in the hundreds, most against Catherine Templeton from LLR and now DHEC. Possible liability in the millions.

SCBlueWoman December 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Is it just another business expense? AKA claiming that her fines were?

miss suzanne December 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

The voters should follow Will’s lead and dump Haley.

Fed Up December 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

“It will be a GRET day in SC!
And while we’re at it dump Clyburn and Wilson!!
Obama, Ohaley, Oclyburn, Ohaley= oshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

El kabong December 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Will will endorse Haley just watch and see

GreenvilleLwyr December 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

The voters should follow Will’s lead and fuck Haley.

shifty henry December 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

She was great while it lasted……

CorruptionInColumbia December 17, 2013 at 1:40 am

Sloppy 132’s?

Capt. Chucktown December 26, 2013 at 6:26 am

Sic 4 Gov.

Comrade1917 December 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

The Federal Reserve Bank is a corrupt banking cartel.
The U.S. dollar is almost dead.
Compare purchasing power of $1 in 1913 versus $1 today.
Inflation is the cruelest tax.
Many thanks to The Fed and U.S. Congress.

GrandTango December 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

FITS also supported Obama’s litigation against SC’s right for voter integrity. How much did it cost the taxpayers to fight Obama’s racist and corrupt government attorneys???

Did the ignorant and politically wobbly FITS say a F*#kin word when his god-Obama got his stupid @$$ whipped in court???

PS: is burglary, rape and murder OK in Occupy camps, as long as its brutal liberals doing it???…Have not heard the selectively doltish FITS weigh in on his Occupy heroes who think killing and sexual assault are neato-guido, if Karl Marx told them it is…

I'm With Stupid?? December 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Look at Dumbass supporting big business and anti-First Admendments rights. Why so you America so much?

I'm With Stupid?? December 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm


GrandTango December 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I’ll take Big business ANY DAY over Big Government. Big Business earns and distributes BIG PAYCHECKS…

Big Government takes Big Chunks of that paycheck to F*#k up (see Obama)…

And Perverting the Constitution is not a First Amendment Right.

Tony December 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Perverting the Consitution? So, you’re down with government even at the state level, having bigger power over assembly? Explan yourself.

GrandTango December 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

You can’t defecate on public property. Even if we do protect the right of anti-American liberals too coward to fight for freedom…you cannot $#!* on what the people earned. And I’ll pick up arms to remove your good for nothing, communist @$$…..

Tony December 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

That was a bit exggerated, actually…there was plently of police there to arrest people who were committing actual crimes…right of assembly isn’t one of them, dipshit.

Occupy Columbia December 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm

This is the same asshole who was on either on The State or WIS website making threats until a police officer came on and shut this stupid fuck up.

John Boy December 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I’ll take Big business ANY DAY over Big Government. Big Business earns and distributes BIG PAYCHECKS…

Yeah, to China, Washington, their shareholders, and CEOs.

Wal-Mart™ December 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Tango’s right about them big paychecks!

Tony December 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Damn, this shit got funny!

GrandTango December 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

And ‘NO’ to Obama, you worthless piece of $#!*..He’s more dangerous than China, Hitler and Stalin rolled into one….because he’s already invaded our country…and using IRS records to persecute.

Will Rogers December 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

We have the best politicians money can buy.

euwe max December 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I’ll take Big business ANY DAY over Big Government.

and you’ll get both EVERY DAY

nitrat December 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

The shame is that Trikki doesn’t realize that she keeps throwing good taxpayer money after bad to bad, unethical lawyers who are not telling her what a bad case she has as long as they keep suckling at the state’s teat.
Or, maybe, some of her antipathy towards lawyers has to do with knowing this sorry bunch that she keeps paying are making a fool of her, but she is afraid to fire them because they are so politically well connected.

jimlewisowb December 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Maybe it is just me, but if I were a cockroach with unrestricted access to taxpayer’s money I would hire smart lawyers rather than the dumbass sons of bitches the Gypsy Queen has on the payroll

It may not be the Gypsy Queen’s goal but she is well on the way to becoming a turd on a stick – lick it or not

Ted's wife December 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm

One big-ass turd.

Manray December 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

How long and at what cost to the taxpayers did the state fight the Citadel – sex discrimination lawsuit? Another case where politics trumped common sense.

dwb619 December 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Ahh, The TEA Party. She ain’t spending REAL money, it’s only tax revenue, you know.

Capt. Chucktown December 26, 2013 at 6:24 am

Funny how Sarah don’t come round here anymore. You Betcha.

dwb619 December 26, 2013 at 6:35 am

I’m sure you could have her over for 50k!
Nice rack, tight butt!

IVEBEENHACKED December 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Great the hack, Georgia Port Deal, now this all costing us millions of dollars so Queen Haley can get re-elected. Keep supporting this idiot South Carolina you deserve her.

Ricky Naley December 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Every day Haley is in office is costing thr tax payers and their childern. She needs to be voted out in 2014.

Norma Scok December 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Occupy..WTH is that?

Oh yeah…I remember that–they were gonna “change the world”. It pretty much ended when it got cold out. I wonder if those fuckers ever got a job, or just went back to their Momma’s?

Ricky Naley December 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

The justice department needs to issue warrants for the arrest of everyone that falsley Arreasted the protesters starting with Haley.

TyronesMamaCollards December 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

she violated the Constitution? Wait a minute. I though the GOP was quite expert about the Constitution, at least that is what all conservatives say. Maybe Haley should get some training on how to interpret and understand the Bill of Rights instead of running around trying to impress everyone with how great she is. My , my. Slapped down by the 4th Circuit. Her list of assholisms keeps rising.

Bill December 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

The GOP and the Teapublicans understand this about the US Constitution. If they like it its constitutional. If they don’t like it, its not.

SexLiesVideotape December 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

the people adversely affected by Haley can and should sue the Great State of South Carolina, en masse, in federal court, for monetary damages.

Ricky Naley December 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

Just like Haley to put the officers livelyhoods at stake with lawsuits while she hides behind those dreaded trial lawyers she hates so much.

Tea with Lemon December 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Please wake up and vote her out.
From her we lip service and empty promises, that is all!!
And not the kind of lip service given Will Folks and Larry Marchant!!!

Slim December 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Call Butch!!!

Will Depp December 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm

This is the extent of Teabagger smarts for you. Wasting more money in their attempt to dismantle the US Constitution. Stupidity knows no bounds in the Teabaggers ranks.

William Hamilton December 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

An agreement had been worked out to just issue tickets to the Occupy protestors and let them go home. Everything had already been removed from the Statehouse grounds but the protesters themselves in preparation for that. Rain was predicted so nobody wanted to be loading up and storing a lot of camping gear, which would be of no benefit to anyone. At the last minute, in violation of advice form law enforcement and attorneys, the Governor ordered actual custodial arrests. The jail and court wasn’t ready, so everyone had to scramble, producing more expense and delay. What could have been a short, symbolic trial with little or no financial exposure to the state was turned into a serious liability. Completely unnecessary.


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