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Supreme Court narrows Voting Rights Act, but allows it to survive.

Despite widespread fears that the Supreme Court would strike down an important provision of the Voting Rights Act, the Court instead handed down an 8–1 decision today that chips away at the landmark law, but allows an endangered provision to survive. The case involved Section 5 of the Act, which requires voting districts that have historically engaged in discrimination to “preclear” any new voting rules changes they make with a federal court or the Department of Justice. Under today’s decision, Section 5 will remain in effect, but voting districts are allowed to “bail out” of its requirements if they can show that they have not recently engaged in race discrimination and are not likely to do so in the future.

Update:

In a separate ruling today, the Supreme Court announced it will not give further consideration to a lawsuit brought by Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson against high ranking Bush administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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