At The Corner, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky notes that a challenge by several Kinston residents to the U.S. Department of Justice’s interference in the city’s move to make local elections nonpartisan will have a hearing in a Washington, D.C., courtroom Friday.

As Carolina Journal reported last year, in 2008, 64 percent of Kinston voters backed a referendum changing local elections from partisan to nonpartisan.

The Department of Justice overturned the election, saying it violated the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Spakovsky writes:

Justice claimed that removing the Democratic affiliation of candidates on the ballot would prevent the same black voters who approved the Kinston referendum from choosing the ?right? candidates in town elections. In short, the Justice Department ?knew? for whom Kinston?s black community should vote, and that certainly couldn?t be a Republican. The refusal to honor Kinston?s request was an abusive, partisan misuse of the Voting Rights Act ? the sort of thing we?ve come to expect from Eric Holder?s Justice Department.

In April, reported that several Kinston residents were filing a lawsuit challenging USDOJ’s decision.

The residents’ complaint (PDF) is here.

Spakovsky concludes:

On Friday, Hashim Mooppan will argue on behalf of the Kinston residents. He is an associate of Jones Day and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who now works with veteran civil-rights litigator and former Reagan Justice Department official Michael Carvin. Hopefully, they will overcome the plaintiffs? standing problems and get a fair hearing from the court.