The U.S. Department of Justice announced on July 25 that it would seek renewed federal oversight of some jurisdictions previously subject to DOJ "preclearance" because of their history of racial discrimination in voting.

The DOJ's move, which will begin with Texas, is made under the Voting Rights Act's little-used "bail-in" provision — and it is risky, both politically and legally. But given the few alternatives to protect minority voters, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder probably figures the risks are worth taking.

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