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Meg Kinnard/Associated Press

  • South Carolina officials who have been sued over a law banning school districts from issuing face mask mandates say that they should be removed from pending litigation. That's the argument made in recent court filings from Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson and others being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is suing on behalf of disability rights groups and parents of South Carolina children with disabilities. The plaintiffs are challenging a budget measure passed this summer that prevents South Carolina districts from using any state funding to require masks in schools.
  • A GOP lawyer who advised former President Donald Trump in his campaign to overturn the 2020 election results is among speakers planned for a South Carolina gathering billed as a must-stop on the road to the state's primary. The state GOP announced Wednesday that longtime Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell was scheduled to participate in next month's First in the South Republican Action Conference.
  • The Republican National Committee is formulating its 2024 presidential nominating calendar and a key figure says he doesn't anticipate any major changes to the order of early-state contests. South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick told The Associated Press on Monday that he felt the party's voting calendar would stay the same for the next cycle. He spoke ahead of meetings this week with the other members of the RNC's Presidential Primary Process Committee.
  • Twenty Democratic attorneys general have voiced their support for a lawsuit challenging South Carolina’s new abortion law. The prosecutors argue in a brief filed in federal court Wednesday that the restrictive measure could harm their states by taxing resources if women cross borders to seek care. South Carolina's law restricts abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. It's one of more than a dozen similar measures passed across the country in recent years. The law is on hold pending the outcome of a Mississippi abortion measure currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Dylann Roof has filed the next step in his federal appeal. On Wednesday, Roof's lawyers filed a petition with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to challenge the court's confirmation of his conviction and death sentence for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. Last month, a three-judge panel of the court unanimously upheld Roof's conviction and sentence, rejecting arguments that the young white man should have been ruled incompetent to stand trial in the shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Now, Roof wants the full court to consider his appeal.
  • A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of a man on federal death row for the racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed Dylann Roof's conviction and sentence in the shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the closing prayer of a Bible study at Mother Emanuel, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled. He was 21 at the time.
  • Anyone who has to get an injection in the U.S. probably has horseshoe crabs to thank for keeping the needle clean. A test used to screen medical products for bacteria has a crucial ingredient — the milky blue blood of the horseshoe crab. The blood is bled from hundreds of thousands of the creatures each year. Ninety percent of them make it back to the sea as a renewable resource. Much of this work happens in South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster says the industry is vital to the development of a domestic medical supply chain. The Food and Drug Administration has been asked to approve a synthetic alternative.
  • South Carolina's top prosecutor says state law prohibits the city of Columbia from instituting a school mask mandate intended to cover children who are age-ineligible for the coronavirus vaccine. Attorney General Alan Wilson wrote to Mayor Steve Benjamin that the recently-approved measure is "in conflict with state law and should either be rescinded or amended." Columbia leaders last week ratified an ordinance mandating the use of masks in the city's elementary and middle schools for at least the beginning of the school year. South Carolina is now averaging nearly 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day and hospitals in the state are filling up fast.
  • A leading anti-abortion group has picked South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster as its first state-level endorsement in next year's elections. The organization tells The Associated Press that it's part of a broader strategy to seed top jobs with abortion opponents as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to give states more power over the issue. Officials from the Susan B. Anthony List will travel to Greenville on Wednesday to give their endorsement to McMaster, a Republican currently his second full term in office. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the organization's president, told The Associated Press that McMaster's key role in a case challenging Mississippi's new abortion law makes him "a hero in defending life" and a good fit for their group.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday that he sees a city-enforced school mask mandate - intended to cover children not eligible for the coronavirus vaccine - as a violation of state law.