According to this
Ballot Access News article, a United States District Court in Washington, D.C. has issued its opinion in the Kinston, North Carolina lawsuit, LaRoque v Holder, regarding the US Department of Justice using Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1968 to overturn a voter-approved referendum to enact non-partisan municipal elections. As Winger notes, the court dismissed the case on the basis that it believes that private citizens do not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights because the court does not believe they have been truly injured.
The judge seems to have fallen for the idea that the government has the right to give minorities preferential treatment instead of being race-neutral as the citizens of Kinston, NC in LaRoque v Holder asserted should be the case and would have likely accomplished or got closer to with the use of non-partisan elections in Kinston. Free the Vote North Carolina endorsed the LaRoque v Holder lawsuit back in an April 2010 press release (here
) in support of state and localities right to determine how their elections will be administered and in opposition to overreaching federal power using Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1968 to keep states from making their own election rules.