Federal judges approve SC redistricting plan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Three federal judges have ruled the new district lines drawn by South Carolina lawmakers for state House and U.S. House seats don't discriminate against black voters.

The judges issued their decision Friday, ruling against six black voters. The U.S. Justice Department has already approved the districts, which include a seventh U.S. congressional seat in the Pee Dee and along the Grand Strand, meaning candidates should be able to file to run for the seats starting next week.

The judges listened to two days of testimony last month. Their ruling says there is no proof the new district lines were drawn to dilute the voting strength of blacks.

Attorney Dick Harpootlian represents the voters. He says he just received the ruling and will review it before deciding whether to appeal.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)