On Voting Rights, Test of History v. Progress

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That Barack Obama is now president is not directly relevant to any issue in the case, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, No. 08-322, which will be argued on Wednesday and is widely considered the most important of the term.

Yet as they consider whether to cut off one of the great legal legacies of the civil rights era, the justices may be asking themselves the inevitable question: Is a law rooted in the age of Jim Crow still needed in the Obama era?

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