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Residents from Alabama stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court for a chance to hear oral arguments February 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. The court will hear oral arguments today in Shelby County v. Holder, a legal challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled 5 -to-4 against a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. That act, originally passed in 1965, outlawed discriminatory voting practices that kept minorities away from the polls.
The justices said that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society. In California, three counties had to follow special rules under that law.
Justin Levitt, professor at Loyola University Law School, joins the show to explain the implications of the ruling.
Today's decision has sparked a number of responses on both sides of the debate. Civil rights leaders are concerned that striking down this provision will fail to protect minority voters.
But in Kings County in Central California, the decision comes as good news. It's one of the three counties in the state which had to adhere to the rules of the Voting Rights Act.
We're joined now by Larry Spikes, administrative officer for Kings County.