Court sets hearing date, further schedule in Section 5 challenge

Today U.S  District Judge John D. Bates set December 3, 2010, as the date he will hear the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss Laroque v. Holder, CIR’s lawsuit challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The judge wrote that he expects to “resolve the motion promptly thereafter.”

Representing Stephen LaRoque and other individuals in Kinston, North Carolina, CIR claims that Section 5 violates the Constitution because it discriminates against some voters, and in favor of others, based on race. The Justice Department is attempting to convince the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that only governmental jurisdictions, not individuals, have standing to challenge Section 5.

In his order today, Judge Bates also set an accelerated briefing schedule for LaRoque, synchronizing it with that of its companion case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, in the event he denies the DOJ motion to dismiss.