S. Carolina’s US House maps under scrutiny because of race

South Carolina Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, looks over a map during a House redistricting...
South Carolina Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, looks over a map during a House redistricting committee public hearing on Nov. 10, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Federal judges are deciding whether South Carolina's new congressional maps are legal in a lawsuit by the NAACP which says the districts dilute Black voting power.((AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins))
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 7:38 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(AP) - A trial to determine whether South Carolina’s congressional maps are legal closes Tuesday with arguments over whether the state Legislature diluted Black voting power by remaking the boundaries of the only U.S. House district Democrats have flipped in more than 30 years.

The trial also marks the first time the South Carolina maps have been legally scrutinized since the U.S. Supreme Court removed part of a 1965 law that required the state to get federal approval to protect against discriminatory redistricting proposals.

A panel of three federal judges on Tuesday heard closing arguments in the case in Charleston. A ruling is expected later and any appeal will be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Republican-dominated General Assembly redrew the maps early this year based on the 2020 U.S. census, and they were used in this month’s midterm elections.

According to a lawsuit filed by the NAACP, the new boundaries unconstitutionally split Black voters in the state’s 1st, 2nd, and 5th Districts and packed them all into the 6th District, which already had a majority of African American voters.