WASHINGTON, D.C. — South Carolina has agreed to redraw its state House map in order to increase Black representation in certain districts. The settlement agreement stems from a lawsuit filed last fall in which the South Carolina Conference of the NAACP and a voter sued the state over the newly enacted state House map, alleging that multiple districts are racial gerrymanders that intentionally dilute the voting strength of Black voters in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments. As a result of this settlement, the South Carolina Legislature will enact a new map by May 12 that will give Black voters the opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice in Orangeburg, Richland, Kershaw, Dillon and Horry counties — a significant improvement over the original map. A trial that was scheduled to begin on May 16 regarding the challenged state House districts will no longer be held due to yesterday’s agreement.
This lawsuit similarly challenges South Carolina’s new congressional map for being a racial gerrymander, but those claims will not go to trial until the fall.