"S" is for South Carolina Plan (1944)

Aug 23, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Plan (1944). On April 3, 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Smith v. Allwright, that the white primary in Texas was unconstitutional. On April 12, 1944, South Carolina governor Olin D. Johnston called a special session of the General Assembly and urged the legislators to repeal all primary laws from the statute books—in order to maintain white supremacy in the state’s primaries. The General Assembly responded by passing 147 bills in six days separating party primaries from the control of state government. The legislators also approved legislation deleting a provision in the state constitution dealing with primaries. In the fall, the state’s voters approved the constitutional amendment that was ratified by the General Assembly in 1945. The South Carolina Plan to maintain an all-white primary was declared unconstitutional in 1947.