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Court dismisses lawsuit against McMaster over termination of federal unemployment benefits

This is a generic picture of a gavel.
This is a generic picture of a gavel.(WTOC)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - A circuit court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Gov. Henry McMaster over the end of federal unemployment benefits in South Carolina.

The lawsuit claimed its four anonymous plaintiffs “have each suffered and will continue to suffer, hardships related to the loss or reduction of their unemployment insurance benefits” as a result of the governor’s order to terminate pandemic-related from the federal government on June 30.

Dan Ellzey, Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, was also named in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs also sought a preliminary injunction to require South Carolina to re-enroll in the federal programs, which was also dismissed.

In its decision, the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court determined the plaintiffs did not have a cause of action and that “the defects in the Complaint are legal ones that cannot possibly be cured.”

“The Court correctly recognized that this lawsuit lacked merit from the start and appropriately rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to force the State to reenroll in these optional federal unemployment programs,” McMaster said in a statement. “I applaud the Court for dismissing this case and declining to reinstate the very  payments that helped create the current labor shortage.”

The governor’s office said agencies including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center all supported McMaster’s decision.

You can read the court’s full decision here:

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