By a 3-to-2 vote, the state Supreme Court sided this afternoon with Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, ruling that Gov. Nikki Haley overstepped her authority when she ordered lawmakers back into session on Tuesday.
The state's top court ruled lawmakers already are in session and cannot be called into a second session.
Legislators left town last week, but technically only recessed until they return June 14 for a special session on the state's budget, legislative and congressional redistricting and other subjects.
McConnell challenged fellow Republican Haley's right to call the special session in a lawsuit filed this morning, contending her action violated the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, and there was no emergency requiring a special session, only "ordinary" legislation.
In an answer filed with the court this afternoon, Haley responded that there was long precedent that governors can call the Legislature back into session.