South Carolina residents are subject to South Carolina state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in South Carolina as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of South Carolina also has its own state laws. South Carolina state laws include the South Carolina Constitution, laws passed by the South Carolina legislature and periodically codified in the South Carolina Code of Laws, and decisions by courts that interpret South Carolina laws.
Adopted in 1895, the South Carolina Constitution invested the state legislature with exceptionally broad authority. The document contains many distinctive features, such as a religious test and a provision that outlines the grounds for divorce. Article XVI provides the processes for amending the Constitution. First, an amendment proposed in the legislature will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature approves it. Even if voters approve the amendment, however, it will go into effect only if a majority of each chamber of the legislature approves it again. Alternatively, a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber votes in its favor.
The South Carolina Code of Laws contains the laws passed by the South Carolina legislature. These laws and the provisions of the South Carolina Constitution are often interpreted by the South Carolina Supreme Court and the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The federal South Carolina District Court also issues decisions that may affect South Carolina residents. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the South Carolina District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Fourth Circuit or from the South Carolina Supreme Court.