"The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stepped back from the brink of totally gutting the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.

By a 5-to-4 vote, a coalition of conservative and liberal justices reaffirmed the court's 1986 precedent interpreting how legislative districts must be drawn under the landmark voting rights act, as amended in 1982. The court said that in Alabama, a state where there are seven congressional seats and one in four voters is black, the Republican-dominated state legislature had denied African American voters a reasonable chance to elect a second representative of their choice."