WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has ruled for Alabama's governor in a dispute over his attempt to fill a county commission vacancy with a fellow Republican appointee.

In a 7-2 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says Gov. Bob Riley did not need advance approval from the federal government to fill the vacancy.

The case involves a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that requires Alabama and several other states — most of them in the South — to get federal approval before changing election procedures that affect minority voters.

Ginsburg says the issue in this case is a narrow one that does not have broader application to voting rights disputes.