Arizona Files Lawsuit Challenging Voting Rights Act

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the Voting Rights Act's requirement that the state get federal permission to make changes in its election laws and systems.

The Republican elected official says the Voting Rights Act requirements being challenged by the state's lawsuit are archaic and subjectively enforced, putting Arizona in a position of being penalized for unfounded allegations.

Several Democratic legislators reacted by calling the lawsuit a bad idea, with one saying minorities' voting rights would have been diminished by a proposed new legislative district map proposed a decade ago. The federal government required the state to change that map.

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement regarding the lawsuit.

"The Voting Rights Act plays a vital role in our society by ensuring that every American has the right to vote and to have that vote counted," Holder said in a statement. "The provisions challenged in this case, including the preclearance requirement, were reauthorized by Congress in 2006 with overwhelming bipartisan support."

The suit will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.