Appeals court hears challenge to Voting Rights Act - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Appeals court hears challenge to Voting Rights Act

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 2 of 3 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.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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