NO DECISION TODAY--
As of 2 p.m., the South Carolina Supreme Court has not posted a decision today. Their website is:
www.sccourts.org/opinions/indexSCPub.cfm . Or you may reach it by clicking here .
Tomorrow, March 23, marks eighteen months since the hearing of September 23, 2015. This is an unusually long time to wait between oral arguments and written decision. However, there have been cases to go on for more than two years.
The question on everyone's mind is, what is taking so long? Since the court is leak proof, we can only speculate. Here is my latest speculation:
---The justices unanimously discarded Goodstein's decision of Feb. 3, 2015. This was obvious in the hearing. Not one justice had one good word for that ruling. I imagine they agreed to work de novo, this is, anew.
---The All Saints decision of 2009 is not a guide to the new decision. Chief Justice Toal, the very author of the All Saints decision, said so in the hearing. This shot down Runyan's case. However, that does not necessarily mean the justices turned against the claims of DSC. Toal seemed to bend toward local property and corporate rights.
---My guess is the justices split in the initial vote between Toal, for DSC, and Hearn for the Church. The other three were in the middle and may have changed their votes along the way according to the arguments. The justices are free to change their minds until the decisions are released to the public.
---The justices know their decision is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where they will be under the national microscope. They have to get this as right as they can. This may well be the most important case any of them will ever judge.
---The case is highly complicated and complex and involves basic constitutional rights mixed with local property and corporate rights. It is a tangle testing the wisdom of Solomon. The very first part of the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the government from interfering in a religious institution. Yet, the courts are allowed to judge between religious parties on property questions.
---The majority and minorities may write collective or individual decisions. They can take all the time they want. They seem to be doing just that.