Hearings on voting rights put off till end of month

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A small tempest is whirling around the last-minute postponement of the Voting Rights Act hearings this week in the Senate, Monitor correspondent Julia Malone reports.

The hearings have been reset for Jan. 27 and 28, but Orrin G. Hatch (R) of Utah, chairman of the constitutional subcommittee, and the Reagan administration appear to be at odds over why they were delayed.

Senator Hatch called off the scheduled Jan. 20 meeting, citing a request from the Reagan administration for more time to draw up a bill.

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But a spokesman for Attorney General William French Smithm says the administration has no plans to submit legislation. He says Mr. Smith will deliver to the hearings previously stated Reagan views on extending the 1965 act , passed to protect minority voting rights.

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