Appeals Court Hears Challenge to Voting Rights Act

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Appeals court judges are showing concern about
whether to overrule Congress' determination that southern states still need federal election monitoring to protect minority voting rights.

Alabama's Shelby County is appealing a lower court decision. The court said governments with a history of discrimination need federal approval to change even minor election procedures under the
federal Voting Rights Act.

An attorney for the county argues the South has changed and says extraordinary oversight is no longer needed.

But two of three judges on the appellate panel asked why they shouldn't defer to Congress. They point out Congress renewed that provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006, after finding that
discrimination still exists, which the district judge endorsed.

The arguments came Thursday in federal appeals court in Washington.

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