Supreme Court
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Elena Kagan attend U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including 'rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will consider eliminating the government’s chief weapon against racial discrimination at polling places since the 1960s.

Acting three days after the election, the justices are agreeing Friday to hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the landmark Voting Rights Act that requires all or parts of 16 states with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.

The appeal from Shelby County, Alabama, says state and local governments covered by the law have made significant progress and no longer should be forced to live under oversight from Washington.

The high court considered the same issue three years ago, but sidestepped what Chief Justice John Roberts then called “a difficult constitutional question.”

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.