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ACLU

  • A settlement of a redistricting lawsuit has added drawing new South Carolina House maps to the list of things state lawmakers need to do in the final three days of the General Assembly's session this week. The House agreed to redraw maps that include the areas around Orangeburg County, areas around Richland and Kershaw counties and areas around Horry and Dillon counties. The new maps would settle the lawsuit from the ACLU and NAACP.
  • State and national chapters of the NAACP and ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a ban of automatically collecting publicly available court data. The group says the ban puts Black residents facing eviction in a particularly bad spot.
  • Four activist groups are urging a South Carolina city to create an independent body to oversee efforts to reduce racial disparities in its police department. The recommendation for the city of North Charleston comes from Charleston Area Justice Ministry, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Charleston's Black Lives Matter chapter and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Post and Courier reports that the groups say public oversight is needed as the city works to address findings of an audit. That audit found racial disparities in police department practices, including field interviews, use of force, arrests and traffic stops.
  • Leading South Carolina Republican lawmakers are dismissing allegations they're taking too long to draw new congressional and legislative districts. The response came in a filing this week by attorneys for state House Speaker Jay Lucas and chairmen of two House committees presiding over the process. It's part of a lawsuit from civil rights groups against Gov. Henry McMaster, state election officials and lawmakers over the yet-to-be-redrawn boundaries. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union say time is running out for potential candidates to research new districts and settle any lawsuits.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says Kershaw County schools are a model in the state for fighting COVID-19 without requiring students to wear masks. The governor toured Camden Elementary School on Wednesday. He saw the thermal scanner that takes the temperature of every student as they walk in without them having to stop. The school also puts a lot of effort into contact tracing, only quarantining people who are within 3 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes. McMaster and Republican legislators back a one-year ban on school mask mandates put in the budget. State health officials have asked them to remove it.
  • 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.