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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it would consider a challenge to a central provision of the 44-year-old voting rights law aimed at preventing states and local governments from making it harder for minorities to vote.
Congress initially adopted the Voting Rights Act, an historic piece of U.S. civil rights legislation, in 1965. It overwhelmingly extended it in 2006 for 25 more years, with President George W. Bush signing it into law.
At issue is a provision at the heart of the law that requires states or local governments with histories of racial discrimination to get federal approval before making any changes in election procedures.
Nine states -- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia -- and counties in several other states are covered by the provision at issue in the case, the Justice Department said.