By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A three-judge federal panel has begun hearing testimony in a legal challenge to the way the South Carolina House and the state's congressional election district boundaries were drawn.
Six black voters are challenging districts passed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly.
State Rep. Bakari Sellers testified Thursday that race was the only factor used to redraw state House districts. The Denmark Democrat says he thinks the process was an attempt to re-segregate districts.
The lawsuit could force the state to redraw all 124 House districts and seven congressional districts.
The suit accuses Republicans leaders of packing certain districts with black residents to keep other districts mostly white. Republican leaders deny that, though they acknowledge race is an important factor in drawing districts under the U.S. Voting Rights Act.