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Activists gearing up for 2007 expiration of Voting Rights Act provisions

[JURIST] Select provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 [Wikipedia backgrounder] are scheduled to expire in 2007, and activists disagree on whether or not they should be made permanent. The most debated provision is one that requires certain states, mostly southern, to seek approval from Washington to make specific election changes. A group led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson along with the Urban League and NAACP wants the act extended [Reuters report], and earlier this month Rep. James Sensenbrenner [official website], chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said a 25-year extension will be drafted. But Theodore Shaw, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund [advocacy website], has warned that making the provisions permanent as some lawmakers propose might lead to the courts declaring them unconstitutional [AP report]. The Baltimore Sun has more.

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