Montgomery Advertiser: Shelby County voting rights challenge rejected
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court Friday rejected an attempt by Shelby County to strike down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
At issue is section 5 of the act, which requires states, counties and townships with a history of voter discrimination to get approval from the Justice Department or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia before changing their election laws.
Shelby County argued before the District of Columbia appellate court that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it renewed section 5 in 2006.
But a panel of judges ruled 2-1 that Congress acted justifiably based on evidence of continued voter discrimination in several parts of the country 47 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed.“Congress drew reasonable conclusions from the extensive evidence it gathered and acted pursuant to the 14th and 15th Amendments,” appellate Judge David Tatel wrote for himself and Judge Thomas Griffith.
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