The South Carolina Attorney General's office was contacted by concerned reps after Charleston and then Columbia issued stay at home orders. Columbia's is set to go into effect just after midnight Sunday 12:01 AM
The AG office gave a legal opinion Friday that neither a city nor county has the authority to make this declaration. You can read the full order here.
The basic takeaway is that during a state of emergency South Carolina law directs that only the Governor has the power to make decisions like that.
It goes on to say "be aware that any unauthorized exercise of such emergency powers could subject these political subdivisions to liability at the behest of a private citizen with requisite legal standing".
In other words if you are negatively effected as a citizen of Columbia (like you lose your business) by this stay at home order you have the right to sue.
Columbia's Mayor Benjamin released this statement in response.
“The actions taken by the City are entirely within our authority. Our actions do not contradict the Governor’s actions because on this immediate issue before us—proven one of the most important and effective to stopping the spread of this virus, he has not acted.”
Jonathon & Kelly speak with the Attorney General about this in depth Saturday morning around 11:45 on 103.5 FM and AM 560 WVOC
So will you stay at home?