I had a chance to attend a Federalist Society event this afternoon on the renewal of certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The main questions surround Section 5, which mandates that certain Southern states (and parts of California and New York) pre-clear any voting law changes with the Justice Department (explained well here and in further detail by Quin Hillyer on the blog last week). For the status quo were Daniel Tokaji and Julie Fernandes, both of the ACLU at one time or another, and for not renewing Section 5 were Abigail Thernstrom, of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Linda Chavez.
The history of the statute was helpful. Sections 4 and 5 were understood to be emergency provisions, which would expire in 1970.