Gov. Mark Sanford had hoped that by making his case to a federal judge, he'd find a more sympathetic ear. Today, a federal judge said that such disputes more properly reside in the jurisidiction of the state supreme court. Trouble was, that court had already rejected a hearing because the budget in question had not passed the state legislature. Well, now it has -- and the state supreme court will take up the case soon. The state faces a July 1 deadline to apply for the stimulus money. Sanford, you'll recall, doesn't want to accept $700 million in stimulus money because he fears an unfunded mandate and a power grab by the feds; the state legislature wants the money; two students filed suit to force Sanford to ask for all the money at once; Sanford contends that his executive authority, and not the legislature, should determine whether to accept money that the federal government offers. The federal government has a different interpretation but so far has not had the chance to argue against Sanford in court. Assuming that the state supreme court forces Sanford to accept the money -- a good guess -- the governor might try his hand at a Supreme Court cert petition, although he said late today that he would accept whatever the state court decides to do.
Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.