South Carolina voting map accused of racial bias by court reinstated for 2024

By John Kruzel

(Reuters) – A federal court that previously threw out a South Carolina Republican election map for bias against black voters ruled on Thursday that it could be used in this year’s congressional elections, a ruling that could jeopardize the Democrats’ chances of taking control of the region. United States House of Representatives.

The three-judge federal panel acknowledged the “unusual” nature of its decision to reinstate a map that it said had moved 30,000 black residents out of a congressional district because of their race, in violation of their constitutional rights .

But the panel said the approaching election calendar and the U.S. Supreme Court’s delay in ruling on the Republican state representatives’ appeal left the justices with little choice. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on October 11 but did not issue a decision. The parties in the case had asked the Supreme Court to decide the case by the end of last year.

At issue was a map passed in 2022 by the Republican-led state legislature that redraws the boundaries of one of South Carolina’s seven U.S. House of Representatives districts, a district that includes parts of Charleston along the Atlantic coast.

“With primary election proceedings fast approaching, the appeal to the Supreme Court still pending, and no recovery plan in place, the ideal must yield to the practice,” wrote Thursday the panel.

The primary election is scheduled for June 11, with the deadline for mail-in voting for military and overseas voters being April 27. The general elections will take place on November 5.

Leah Aden, senior attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which represented black voters who challenged the map, expressed disappointment in Thursday’s outcome.

“A second election on an erroneous map is justice delayed while the plaintiffs have made every effort to obtain a decision and appeal before another election on a map that disenfranchises them,” Aden said.

In January 2023, a three-judge federal panel ruled that the map sorted voters along racial and…

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