NEW YORK —
The North Carolina steps, which take effect in the 2016 election, came after the Supreme Court last June threw out the crucial section of the Voting Rights Act that required that all or parts of 15 states with a history of discrimination in voting, mainly in the South, get federal approval before changing their election laws.
Bipartisan legislation proposed in the House and Senate would attempt to address the constitutional concerns raised by the Supreme Court. But sponsors such as Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., are still trying to line up enough support for the proposals.
The fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act has brought renewed attention to issues of race and the accomplishments of the civil rights movement. A CBS News poll released Wednesday found that more than 3 in 4 Americans say there has been progress in getting rid of racial discrimination. But those views split racially, with whites much more likely than African-Americans to think real progress has been achieved.