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Conservatives and Liberals agree that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped blacks and other minorities get the right to vote in states of the former Confederacy. But Alabama and other states insist that times have changed, and next week the US Supreme Court will hear their challenge. Does the law infringe on state sovereignty? What about efforts to limit voting in last year's elections? Also, the Supreme Court considers campaign funding limits, and the true story behind John Ford's greatest Western movie sheds light on how American mythology is made.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while Martin Luther King and others look on, August 6, 1965.

Making News Will the Supreme Court Remove Campaign Funding Limits? 7 MIN, 43 SEC

Just yesterday, the US Supreme Court agreed to review another controversial issue: limits on individual campaign contributions over two-year election cycles. The court is being asked to overturn a law first enacted during the Watergate era and upheld in 1976. Jess Bravin is Supreme Court correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal (@JessBravin)

Main Topic Has the South Outgrown the Voting Rights Act? 33 MIN, 38 SEC

After the re-election of America's first black president, Alabama and other states want the US Supreme Court to throw out a key section of the Voting Rights Act. It requires states and localities with histories of racial discrimination to check with the Justice Department when they change voting laws. Democrats and Republicans extended it almost unanimously in 2006, and George W. Bush signed the new law. But in a case financed by a shadowy conservative fundraiser, states claim they're being punished for sins of the past. Do last year's elections tell a different story? The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week. Did Chief Justice Roberts invite the challenge?

President George W. Bush signs the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 on Thursday, July 27, 2006


Ari Berman, Mother Jones (@AriBerman)
Cameron Smith, Alabama Policy Institute
Doug Jones, Haskell Slaughter
Doug Kendall, Constitutional Accountability Center (@MyConstitution)

Herding Donkeys

Ari Berman

Reporter's Notebook 'The Searchers' in History and on Screen 9 MIN, 22 SEC

book.jpgOn a Spring day in Texas in 1836, a band of Comanche raiders attacked a white settlement and made off with five captives, including nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker. She spent 25 years with the tribe before being forcibly "rescued" by her family. A new book follows the story from legend to novel to John Wayne movie. Glenn Frankel was a reporter and editor at the Washington Post for nearly 30 years. Now Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, he's the author of the new book, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend.

Glenn Frankel, University of Texas at Austin

The Searchers

Glenn Frankel

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