Sanford's action came hours after the Supreme Court allowed him to become part of the case that had been set to be argued Thursday. The students had sued the state, but didn't name Sanford as a defendant.
A federal judge will now hear arguments Monday. Sanford also asked today that the cases be combined and expedited in U.S. District Court.
Sanford said the cases need to be handled quickly because there is a July 1 deadline to apply for the first part of $700 million in federal stimulus cash intended to spare schools and colleges from deep budget cuts. Quick action, Sanford said, would give him and the Legislature time to deal with the court's action.