New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's change to city term-limits law won approval from the federal government Tuesday, clearing the final hurdle for the billionaire to run for a third term this year.
Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department must approve modifications to voting rules in New York City as a way to prevent those changes from discriminating against voters.
Last fall Bloomberg persuaded the City Council to extend the term limits law so that he could run for a third consecutive four-year term. He began exploring the idea of running again after he decided last year not to launch an independent bid for president.
Opponents argued in letters to the Justice Department that the change to term-limits law discriminates against minorities.
They said the two-term limit created a greater number of open seats more often in elected positions, giving non-white candidates more opportunities.
In a letter sent to the city attorney, the Justice Department disagreed.
Bloomberg, who poured $85 million of his own money into his re-election bid in 2005, said he was pleased with the ruling. He has spent $3 million on his campaign so far.