Feds taking ‘prime role’ in Texas voting maps case

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections under a weakened Voting Rights Act are getting underway with a trial in Texas over election maps.

The trial starting Monday in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas and other states with a history of voting discrimination no longer need federal permission to change elections laws.

The Justice Department and minority rights groups argue that Texas still needs approval under a little-used part of the Voting Rights Act. Known as Section 3, it says states and local governments still need permission if intentional discrimination is found.

The trial surrounds voting maps approved by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011. Republicans have long rejected claims of intentional discrimination.

A ruling from the court isn’t expected for months.

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