SC top lawyer says laws without seal still valid

FILE--In this July 14, 2010, file photo, gavels and law books are shown in the office of California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George at his office in San Francisco, Calif. The State Bar of California on Monday, July 31, 2017, proposed lowering the minimum score on the most recent licensing exam for attorneys amid an alarming decline in people passing the test considered one of the toughest in the U.S. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s top lawyer says the failure of the secretary of state to place the official state seal on more than 100 laws does not invalidate them.

An opinion released late Friday by state Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office says to overturn the laws would give Secretary of State Mark Hammond a more powerful tool than the governor, who can veto bills but also can have his veto overturned.

The opinion says it appears the state constitution allows Hammond to go back and place the seal on the laws at any time.

The opinion doesn’t have the weight of law.

Hammond’s office failed to put the seal on more than 100 laws over the past decade, but the laws are in effect.

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