Local paper–New TEC Diocese in South Carolina asks for federal jurisdiction

“We have carefully examined the claims made against The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and inherent in all these claims are federal statutory and constitutional issues that must be decided in a federal court rather than in South Carolina state court,” said Thomas Tisdale, chancellor of the continuing diocese, in a statement.

[Mark Lawrence and the diocese of South Carolina]…. has 30 days to respond to the notice of removal.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

9 comments on “Local paper–New TEC Diocese in South Carolina asks for federal jurisdiction

  1. Undergroundpewster says:

    It looks like another attempt to prevent any question that is even remotely close to the Dennis Cannon from eventually working its way up to the SC Supreme Court and instead shift it to the Feds.

  2. Pb says:

    This shows that they know the result in SC courts and are looking for a friendlier forum.

  3. sophy0075 says:

    If the Feds agree that this case should be removed to the federal court, it will be but one more example (Roe was one; the recent Supreme Court case concerning the vote of Californians against same sex “marriage” another) of the national government’s attempt to override the Tenth Amendment.

  4. Cennydd13 says:

    2. This has usually proven to be the case when things begin to look bad for them and they start getting nervous about what the results might be. It proves just how desperate they really are to grab what really has never been theirs.

  5. Mark Baddeley says:

    Is TEC going to seek to have all the other rulings in state courts annulled due to the discovery that these issues need to be handled at the federal level?

    Is it just South Carolina that can’t be trusted to not dribble all over itself? *Only* in South Carolina are these federal issues. Everywhere else they are state issues?

  6. Franz says:

    In any litigation, the plaintiff’s choice of forum is given deference. Therefore, in initiation the declaratory judgment action in SC courts the Dio. of SC established a presumption in favor of the SC courts. State courts can and do (as a general proposition) apply federal law, so I do not think that the fact that there may be such issues means that the case is subject to removal. Furthermore, if the heart of the matter is state law, the federal courts may not even have jurisdiction. Since the Dio. of SC and the TEC affilated entity are both (probably) SC citizens, federal courts would lack diversity jurisdiction. The identity of any individual parties also matters. If there are SC citizens on both the petitioners’ side and the respondents’ side, there cannot be federal jurisdiction based upon the identity of the parties. So, the real question will be — Are there any arguments for _exclusive_ federal jurisdiction, or, is there a sufficient reason to overrule the petitioners’ choice of forum.

    Of course, whichever side loses on the petition for removal probably can appeal, which means that there will be substantial litigation on choice of forum issues before there is any substantive ruling on the issues. That may be what those seeking removal want (wear down the Dio. of SC, etc.).

    Id does highlight an important issue in any legal question: How do you decide who gets to decide?

  7. Franz says:

    An addition . . .

    As is all too common, the newspaper article does not specify what issues the TEC affiliated group claims must be heard in Fed. Court. It does not adequately describe the procedure posture, and the relationship between the initial state court dec. action filed by Dio. SC and the federal lawsuit brought by the TEC folks. There is no useful information at all. It essentially boils down to “Those two are at it again.”

    There is a blog call, “Get Religion,” because, as the authors put it, “the press doesn’t get religion.” The press doesn’t get much about the law either.

  8. Dick Mitchell says:

    Removal is not discretionary — once a notice of removal is filed, the case is removed unless it is remanded to state court. And removal and remand orders are not immediately appealable. Remands cannot be appealed. Denial of a remand can be appealed as part of an overall appeal at the end of the case. So removal can be fairly serious. This case may be decided by SC law — as understood by 3 appellate judges from West Virginia and Maryland. As #7 states. we need more lots more information.

  9. Franz says:

    #8. Thank you for the corrections. In considering the motion for remand, does the Fed. Dist. Ct. give any deference to the original petitioners’ choice of forum?