South Carolina to adjust House district lines in voting rights lawsuit
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Thursday an agreement with the state of South Carolina to adjust House districts.
The move comes from a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups. The agreement will amend maps in Orangeburg, Richland, Kershaw, Dillon and Horry counties.
The lawsuit was set to go to trial on May 16 if no agreement had been reached. A separate trial is still planned over the U.S. congressional maps for the fall.
According to the settlement, the SC House of Representatives will have to redraw its map "as soon as practical," and Gov. McMaster has until May 17 to sign it into law.— Mary Green (@MaryGreenNews) May 5, 2022
The last day of the regular legislative session is next Thursday, May 12. House primaries are June 14. https://t.co/zlRyGSXS67
The ACLU release said the districts,
“intentionally discriminated against Black communities in the state and denied Black voters equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice.”
The lawsuit alleged racial gerrymandering and discrimination in 29 districts. The case was brought to court on behalf of the South Carolina NAACP and an individual voter, Taiwan Scott.
They were represented by the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc, the ACLU of South Carolina, Boroughs Bryant LLC, Arnold & Porter, and the General Counsel’s Office of the NAACP.
Allen Chaney, legal director of the ACLU of South Carolina: “Any redistricting map that arises exclusively from self-interested politicians will inevitably fail voters. While I am certainly pleased by this settlement, the voters need the next South Carolina redistricting process to be more independent, transparent, and accountable.”
A statement from Mark Moore who represented the House in the case said, “Certainty in our voting process is one of the greatest virtues we have in South Carolina — and trust in that process is of crucial importance to our people. With this settlement, we will end costly litigation with a decision that is reasonable for voters and allows voters to have confidence in the electoral process.”
The full release can be read at the link here.
We have embedded the agreement below.
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