Supreme Court to review key section of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would decide the constitutionality of a signature portion of the Voting Rights Act.

The justices three years ago expressed skepticism about the continued need for Section 5 of the historic act, which requires states and localities with a history of discrimination, most of them in the South, to get federal approval of any changes in their voting laws.

The Section 5 requirements were passed during the darkest days of the civil rights struggle, paving the way for expanded voting rights for African Americans and greatly increasing the number of minority officeholders.

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Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006.
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David Nakamura · November 9, 2012