State Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Henry McMaster demonstrated his understanding of the Constitution this week when he got slapped down in local zoning ordinance dispute by a Richland County judge. And this guy wants to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the new healthcare reform. I don’t think so.

Read the whole story by Corey Hutchins from the Columbia Free Times at

If S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster’s battle over the constitutionality of a local zoning ordinance is any indication, his fight to abolish national health care reform might be in trouble.

A Richland County judge on Tuesday knocked down an appeal by McMaster’s wife Peggy that argued a local zoning ordinance was unconstitutional.

The appeal was in response to an earlier ruling that found McMaster in violation of occupancy rules at a rental property. Henry McMaster had defended his wife as her agent and counsel in front of the zoning board on Sept. 25, 2007.

“The Court finds that the Ordinance does bear a rational relationship to legitimate government purpose, and [the McMasters] have not met their burden of proving otherwise,” writes Fifth Judicial Circuit judge J. Michelle Childs in the May 25 decision.

The ruling continues: “The City has not acted arbitrarily or wrongfully in passing the ordinances in question, and the challenged ordinance does not infringe upon Petitioner’s substantive due process rights under the law.”

Here is some of what Hutchins wrote in a companion article about slumlord Henry McMaster. Read it all right here: This is a great story that the whole state needs to read about the man who would be governor.

City officials have been careful about how they address the relationship between the McMasters and the city.

On one balmy spring morning in late May, a three-person city code-enforcement team was checking up on one McMaster-owned Greene Street apartment building because a tenant had complained of the living conditions there. No violations were issued. Apparently, the McMasters had been tipped off the day before and sent someone to come in and fix the place up. They nailed a board across the bottom of a door and painted it, among other things, said a tenant.

According to Marc Mylott, the city’s director of zoning and planning, that particular house is in Henry’s name, not his wife’s. Mylott says it is standard procedure to alert a property owner or manager whenever the city plans to inspect the interior of one of their houses if a tenant complains.

A sophomore USC student named Emrys McMahon is one of eight students living in that house. He and his roommates say the McMasters promised them a washer and dryer and to re-do the floors before they moved in. The work was never done, McMahon says. During the coldest part of January, the unit’s central heating broke down and the tenants were given two space heaters, one of which didn’t turn on. McMahon slept at his girlfriend’s house. He sums up his feelings about the man who owns the house he rents bluntly.

“He’s a slumlord,” McMahon says. “He has a bunch of sh#!ty places that he doesn’t care about. He’s a slumlord.”

In a way though, McMahon and his roommates also feel a little bad for Henry. Three of them were there with Henry and his wife when it was time to take care of the lease. It was truly an awkward situation, they say.

“Peggy just, like, bosses Henry around,” McMahon says. “She’s just like a b#!ch to him all the time. She just yells at him.”

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.