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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Republican officials are applauding Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will allow the state’s voter identification law to take effect without federal approval. But Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson says the ruling “guts the most critical portion of the most important civil rights legislation of our time.” Thompson is the only black member of the state’s congressional delegation. Justices blocked enforcement of a provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires Mississippi and several other state and local governments to get federal approval before making any changes to voting laws or procedures. The preclearance provisions have been in effect in areas with a history of racial discrimination. Justices said the Voting Rights Act does not reflect racial progress made in the United States over the past 48 years.

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