SC legislators won’t testify about redistricting

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two of South Carolina’s top legislators will not have to discuss their debate over redrawing the state’s new U.S. House districts.

A federal judge ruled this week that House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell don’t have to be deposed about how lawmakers drafted the maps.

Attrorneys for the Charleston Republicans argued that legislative privilege protected their testimony about decisions concerning redistricting.

Harrell and McConnell are part of a lawsuit filed last year over new U.S. House district lines, including the state’s new 7th Congressional District along the coast. Six black voters are challenging the plan passed by the GOP-dominated state Legislature, claiming the race-based plan creates “voting apartheid.”

The Department of Justice has already said it would not challenge the new layout.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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