[JURIST] The US Justice Department [official website] told Congress Tuesday that it supported renewal of Section 5 [DOJ backgrounder] of the Voting Rights Act [text], preventing states with a history of discriminatory voting practices from implementing any change affecting voting until the US Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose or effect. Brad Schlozman, head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division [official website] urged the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution [official website] to renew Section 5 as it was a major deterrent to voting rules that would potentially discriminate against minorities. A number of scholars and advocates nonetheless consider the requirement outdated and unnecessary. Congress is considering extending the requirement for a further 25-year when the current term of the Section expires in 2007. AP has more.