judge Tuesday prohibited Gov. Jim Hodges from blocking government
shipments of weapons-grade plutonium bound by truck for South
Carolina. The governor has taken his case to a federal appeals
is a sad day for South Carolina when the governor, who has taken
an oath to uphold the Constitution, must be ordered by a court
to obey it," U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie said.
the governor ordered state troopers to stop any vehicles carrying
radioactive material from the closed Rocky Flats weapons plant
in Colorado to the government's Savannah River Site weapons installation.
The shipments are scheduled to begin as soon as this weekend.
said he would abide by the judge's order. "Against our will,
the blockade is over," the governor said. "I don't apologize
for our efforts, our suit or our blockade."
In May, Hodges
sued to prevent the shipments, fearing the government would fail
to come up with the money to convert the 6 tons of plutonium into
nuclear reactor fuel, leaving the nuclear material in South Carolina
indefinitely. He warned that transporting the plutonium from Colorado
is too risky, and storing it at the site would make the state
a terrorist target.
the standoff, the governor warned he would even lie down in the
road if necessary to stop the plutonium shipments.