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SC Speaker asks panel to dismiss redistricting challenge

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February 15, 2012

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, South Carolina: On November 11, 2011, six voters from Florence, Sumter, Georgetown, Berkeley, Darlington and Charleston counties filed suit against South Carolina's new U.S. House map, calling the districts racially discriminatory.[1] The lawsuit asked a three-judge panel to dismiss the map and order lawmakers to draft a new plan. South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian filed the suit on behalf of the six African American voters.[2]

However, on Monday, counsel for House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R) filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Harrell's attorneys argue that some of the plaintiffs lack standing and that the plaintiffs haven't shown the map to be racially biased. In addition, they contend that the plaintiffs should have offered an alternative map for the judges' consideration. The plaintiffs had also challenged the South Carolina Senate plan, but decided to drop that portion of lawsuit on Monday.[3]

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