On May 30, 2008, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Gonzales that Section 5 of the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is constitutional. The provision in question required states or towns with histories of racial discrimination to get US Department of Justice (DOJ) approval before making changes to their election procedures. The original VRA was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The reauthorization of VRA was signed into law in July 2006. Many Southern states opposed its passage due to restrictions on state electoral autonomy.
Learn more about the Voting Rights Act from the JURIST news archive.