On October 12, 2021, the South Carolina Branch of the NAACP, a South Carolina voter, and other civil rights organizations filed a federal lawsuit against South Carolina's Governor, legislative leaders, and various state election officials challenging the state's current congressional and legislative redistricting plans as unconstitutional, in addition to the state's redistricting process thus far. The plaintiffs suit alleges that due to population shifts throughout the last decade, the state's congressional and legislative districts have become unconstitutionally malapportioned in violation of the one person, one vote requirement under Article I, Section 2 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, the plaintiffs are challenging the state legislature's decision to adjourn their session without adopting new redistricting plans and without announcing a concrete timeline for when it will consider or enact proposed plans on the grounds that this course of action will violate the plaintiffs' freedom of association under the 1st and 14th Amendments by preventing timely analysis on any eventually enacted plan's effects prior to the next election, preventing prospective candidates from knowing whether they are eligible to run, preventing voters from communicating their concerns to candidates and elected officials, and generally impeding the public's right to be informed and participate in the redistricting and electoral process. The plaintiffs are requesting that a judicial declaration that the state's current congressional and legislative plans are unconstitutional, a permanent injunction barring the plans from being implemented or used in any future elections, a court established schedule for enacting new redistricting plans, and a stay on candidate filing and qualifying deadlines until new plans are enacted.
U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division - No. 3:21-cv-3302
- Complaint - 10/12/21
- Plaintiffs' Answers to Local Rule 26.01 Interrogatories - 10/12/21
- Motion and Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Request for a Three-Judge Panel - 10/15/21
- Response and Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Appointment of Three-Judge Panel - 10/19/21
- Governor McMaster's Responses to Local Rule 26.01 Interrogatories - 10/20/21
- Reply in Further Support of Plaintiffs' Request for a Three-Judge Panel - 10/21/21