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Is the Voting Rights Act out of date?




African-Americans line up to vote in the presidential election as a dog looks on November 4, 2008 in Selma, Alabama. Selma was a touchstone in the civil rights movement where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led marches which eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ending voter disfranchisement against African-Americans.
African-Americans line up to vote in the presidential election as a dog looks on November 4, 2008 in Selma, Alabama. Selma was a touchstone in the civil rights movement where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led marches which eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ending voter disfranchisement against African-Americans.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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When it comes to the Supreme Court, many Californians are closely watching the case involving proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban. But there's another crucial civil rights case the court will consider, one that observers say could be, "One of the most significant rulings of the current term." 

The justices will consider eliminating a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that has been on the books for decades and is credited with fighting racial discrimination at the polls. Some argue a critical part of the law is out of date, even though the law was used this year to block voter ID requirements.

Nathaniel Persily professor of law and political science at Columbia University joins the show to talk about the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act.