Federal government ordered to pay South Carolina $54,000 in voter ID lawsuit

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:55 p.m., Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:02 p.m.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina can recover about $54,000 of its $3.5 million costs for a lawsuit defending the state’s voter identification law.

A court today ordered the federal government to pay the state for that amount of its legal expenses.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sued last year after the U.S. Department of Justice rejected the state’s law requiring voters to show specific photo identification at the polls. The Justice Department said the law violated part of the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters.

A panel of federal judges upheld the law in October. Most of the suit’s $3.5 million price tag comes from attorneys’ fees, but the law doesn’t allow South Carolina to ask the government to pay those bills.

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