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As the Supreme Court wraps up its term, the Justices seem likely to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act.
The case, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, challenges the 2006 renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act targets places with a history of discrimination against minority voters. Jurisdictions covered by the law need Justice Department approval to change their voting procedures. The law has been widely credited with breaking down barriers to minority voting and getting minorities into elected office, but the people who brought this lawsuit say the law's policies are unfair and outdated.
The Voting Rights Act is "really one of the crown jewels of the civil rights movement of the 1960s," says election law professor Rick Hasen of Loyola Law School Los Angeles. "For the court to now consider striking down a major portion of it would be at least symbolically monumental."
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