WASHINGTON - A new South Carolina law that generally requires voters to show photo identification does not discriminate against racial minorities and can go into effect beginning in 2013, a federal court ruled on Wednesday.

The US District Court three-judge panel said too little time remains before the November 6 elections for president and other offices for state officials to implement the law this year.

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The US Justice Department opposed the law, arguing it ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark of the US civil rights movement.