A federal judge in Washington D.C. has rejected a lawsuit filed by a Lenoir County legislator seeking to overturn a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Republican Rep. Stephen A. LaRoque and four other Kinston men filed a lawsuit last year claiming that Section 5 of the landmark civil rights law is unconstitutional. The section requires jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination to seek preapproval from the U.S. Justice Department before making changes in voting procedures.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder exercised his authority to nullify an effort by the group to amend the city's charter to make municipal elections non-partisan. A majority of Kinston residents are black and the group complained straight-ticket voting favors Democrats.
LaRoque filed notice he plans to appeal.