Supreme Court Sidesteps Major Voting-Rights Ruling

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2009 11:04 AM CDT
Members of the Supreme Court await the arrival of President Barack Obama prior to his address to a joint session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court ruled narrowly today in a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, exempting a small Texas district from a key provision of the law, but side-stepping the larger constitutional issue. The act requires Southern areas with a history of discrimination to get advance federal approval before changing election procedures. The larger issue of whether the law is still necessary, “is a difficult constitutional question we do not answer today,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

In other Supreme Court news:

  • The court ruled 6-3 that parents who place their special-education students in private schools can seek public reimbursement.
  • In another 6-3 ruling, the court upheld a permit to dump gold-mine waste in an Alaska lake, saying it had been improperly blocked on environmental grounds.
  • The court declined to revive Valerie Plame's lawsuit over her leaked identity.
(Read more US Supreme Court stories.)