Republican lawmakers in several Southern states are taking advantage of a recent Supreme Court decision by enacting rules to make it tougher for their residents to vote. Thanks to the court's 5-4 ruling, a handful of states no longer have to receive federal approval before changing their election laws, as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 previously dictated. That requirement, critics argued, is unnecessary in today's multicultural and more racially integrated society. The South of today, they said, is not the same as it was a century ago. Why, then, are legislators in states like North Carolina, Alabama and Texas scrambling to put in place restrictions that, while not overtly racially motivated, will by and large end up disproportionately affecting minority voters?/Holly Bowen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.