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Shelby County voting rights case debated in Washington courtroom

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for Shelby County asked a federal judge in Washington today to declare two key parts of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional because Congress relied on old voting statistics when it extended the historic civil rights law for another 25 years.

"Certainly it was rational for Congress to choose to stay the course and continue to see Section 5 do the work necessary to root out discrimination," said Kristen Clarke with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Section 5 requires local and state governments in those 16 states to get Justice Department approval before making any voting related changes such as redrawing district lines.

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