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U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs, currently under consideration for a federal appellate court seat, reportedly is on the shortlist of candidates to fill an expected vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court that would be open if Justice Stephen Breyer announces his retirement today. More: Charleston City Paper, The New York Times, The State, AP News

In other headlines:

Medical marijuana debate hits Senate floor. State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, finally got a floor debate on medical marijuana after more than seven years of working on the legislation. Under the proposal, marijuana could be obtained by those with specific conditions and only through special dispensaries run by a state-licensed pharmacist, physician assistant or clinical practice nurse.

Davis has remained adamant that the bill will not open the door to legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. But he still faces steep opposition from law enforcement, fellow Republicans and religious groups. One opponent, Republican Sen. Greg Hembree, derided the bill as being about money rather than being about medicine. Debate continues today. More: AP News, The Post and Courier, The Daily Gamecock

Newly drawn U.S. House districts head to S.C. governor. The S.C. House approved a plan Wednesday without any additional debate on a Congressional redistricting map that makes minimal changes to where the state’s seven districts draw voters, leaving in place six reliably Republican districts and one reliably Democratic district. The plan now goes to Gov. Henry McMaster. More: AP News, The Post and Courier, The State

Federal appeals court to hear arguments on S.C.’s abortion restrictions. The 2021 state law that bans abortion procedures after a fetal heartbeat is detected (as early as four weeks after conception at six weeks gestation) will get another day in court today as the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Planned Parenthood’s case against the state law. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing total abortion bans at the Statehouse. More: AP News

State, local officials talk about curbing human trafficking. The S.C. Department of Social Services identified 236 child trafficking victims last year. The victims ranged in age 1 year old to those just barely adults as at 19 years old. On Wednesday, state and local officials talked about efforts to combat human trafficking in the Lowcountry, while acknowledging there is “a bit of a crisis” in terms of responding to victims. More: The Post and Courier

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