[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] Wednesday dismissed a challenge to election monitoring under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) [materials]. In a 151-page decision [opinion, PDF], Judge John Bates rejected the arguments of officials representing Shelby County, Alabama, together with a corps of conservative activists, who claimed it is no longer constitutionally justifiable to subject Alabama and certain other states to Section 5 [DOJ backgrounder] "preclearance" rules under the…