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Feds battle states over voting rights

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will legally contest a series of laws around the country as part of an aggressive campaign to fight a recent Supreme Court ruling that it says could reduce minority voting.

The Justice Department filed its first challenge Thursday, asking a judge to require Texas to seek permission from the federal government before making voting changes because of the state’s history of discrimination. Several states in the South and Southwest could face similar lawsuits.

“This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights following the (Supreme Court) ... decision, but it will not be our last,” Attorney General Eric Holder told a National Urban League conference in Philadelphia on Thursday. “My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against discrimination wherever it is found.”

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