In this fourth volume, James Lowell Underwood concludes his series on the South Carolina Constitution by tracing the evolution of voting rights in the Palmetto State from the Civil War through the present. Emphasizing racial equality and reapportionment, Underwood examines the rise of African-American political power during Reconstruction and the state's subsequent adoption of constitutional and statuatory provisions to disenfranchise the majority of African Americans living in South Carolina.
Underwood focuses on the recurring interaction of state and federal law, and he cites the resurrection of equal voting rights after the civil rights movement as a key factor in South Carolina's African-American suffrage drama. He analyzes the reapportionment of the state legislature under the one-person, one-vote rule and the protection of minority access to South Carolina's political process under the Voting Rights Act. In the final two chapters, Underwood summarizes the struggle for political equality and poposes recommendations for the future development of voting rights under the South Carolina Constitution.
James Lowell Underwood is Strom Thurmond Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina.