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  • A lawsuit alleges that police illegally detained a South Carolina couple when officers outside the jurisdiction raided their home in the middle of the night. According to complaints filed Tuesday, Shane Glover and Codie Fuller were held at gunpoint and handcuffed while unclothed by officers with the Holly Hill and Santee Police Departments on Aug. 2, 2020. The couple's lawyer says the raid was made without any outstanding warrant and constitutes an "illegal kidnapping." It's unclear what prompted the raid. Neither department immediately responded to requests for comment. Prior to the raid, Glover says he called the Holly Hill police supervisor after learning about allegedly "inappropriate personal comments" made by an officer to Fuller.
  • A federal lawsuit alleges that unsanitary conditions and staff negligence caused the death of a 27-year-old man detained in a South Carolina jail. Police arrested Lason Butler on Jan. 31 on charges of reckless driving, failure to stop for blue lights and driving with a suspended license. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says that he was found dead on Feb. 12 with fresh rat bites and no running water. An autopsy report found that Butler died of dehydration. The lawsuit alleges that jail staff failed to provide "sanitary conditions, appropriate health care, and relief from solitary confinement."
  • South Carolina can continue enforcing its six-week abortion ban after a state judge on Tuesday denied a request to temporarily block it amid a legal battle that is now headed to the state Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic had asked the judge for an injunction while their lawsuit challenging the ban moved through the courts. The lawsuit argues that the law violates the state constitution's rights to privacy and equal protection. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning on Tuesday transferred the case to the Supreme Court, saying the case raised the "most fundamentally important constitutional issue" he has seen. He said Planned Parenthood could seek an injunction from that court.
  • 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.
  • Several civil rights groups are suing South Carolina over conditions at its juvenile lockups that have left children in state custody subject to violence and isolation. The lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday describes violence and neglect across facilities run by the state Department of Juvenile Justice. The groups say agency staff ignore and enable the violence and isolate children in small cells for minor infractions. The lawsuit echoes findings in recent years by federal and state investigators. Agency officials agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice earlier this month to make changes at its main detention center in Columbia.
  • The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay halting the state from carrying out plans for its first-ever firing squad execution. Wednesday's order by the state's high court temporarily halts a scheduled April 29 execution of inmate Richard Moore. The court order said a more detailed order will follow. Moore's attorneys had asked justices to block the execution plan so they could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether his crime rises to the level of a death penalty offense. Moore has spent more than two decades on death row for the 1999 killing of convenience store clerk James Mahoney in Spartanburg.
  • South Carolina State women's coach Audra Smith was fired a day after filing suit against the school alleging Title IX violations and discriminatory practices at the university. Smith was in her fourth season at the school. Her suit was filed Wednesday in federal court. She said in the complaint the school continually provided fewer resources to women's teams, athletes and coaches than received by men's teams. Smith's suit asked for undisclosed damages. On Thursday, South Carolina State ended Smith's contract. Smith was 24-73 in four seasons in charge of the program.
  • Civil rights groups are accusing South Carolina Republicans of unconstitutionally creating "racially gerrymandered" U.S. House maps to disadvantage Black voters. An amended complaint was filed Thursday in a lawsuit by the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP. The lawsuit says the maps would keep South Carolina's 6th District as a majority-Black district, while "working adeptly to deny the ability of Black voters to elect or even influence elections in any of the other six congressional districts." Redistricting cases are considered by three-judge panels. For this case, that includes Michelle Childs, who is being considered for a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. Attorneys for leading Republican lawmakers have defended the maps' constitutionality.
  • A court has allowed federally funded family planning clinics to continue to make abortion referrals for now. The decision Tuesday was a setback for a dozen Republican attorneys general who are seeking to restore a Trump-era ban on the practice. The Biden administration reversed that prohibition in new regulations implemented in October. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the new Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Title X family planning program can remain in place during the states' challenge. The changes returned the program to how it ran under the Obama administration.
  • An appellate court is preparing to hear arguments over a lawsuit challenging South Carolina's abortion law. The court is set to hear arguments Thursday in Planned Parenthood's case against South Carolina's measure. The law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a so-called "fetal heartbeat," which can typically be detected about six weeks into pregnancy. If it is, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or if the mother's life is in danger.