South Carolina Republicans want judge off redistricting case

South Carolina News

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 28, 2021, file photo, people look over the current South Carolina Senate districts at a public meeting by a Senate subcommittee on redistricting, in Sumter, S.C. South Carolina Republican legislative leaders want to toss a judge from a lawsuit over redistricting plans, arguing in papers filed Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 that the jurist can’t fairly consider the case in part because of prior legal work on such cases. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Republican legislative leaders want to toss a judge from a lawsuit over redistricting plans.

Attorneys for House Speaker Jay Lucas argue in papers filed Thursday that U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel can’t fairly consider the case in part because of similar prior legal work.

Gergel previously was lead counsel on a redistricting case following the 2000 Census and opposed redistricting plans passed by a Republican-controlled legislature.

Lucas’ attorneys say Gergel “took positions similar to those advanced by the Plaintiffs in this litigation.”

Gergel has been appointed to a three-judge panel mulling a lawsuit by two civil rights groups.

They accuse South Carolina’s newly drawn state House maps of discriminating against Black people by diluting their voting power.

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