• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court banned poll taxes in state elections in the United States.

Justice William O. DouglasDouglas, William O.;Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections[Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections] wrote the 6-3 majority opinion that overturned a Virginia state annual poll tax, thereby ending all poll taxes as a precondition for voting in the United States. The Twenty-fourth Amendment banned the requirement of poll taxes in federal elections, but they continued to be used in state elections under the authority of Breedlove v. Suttles[case]Breedlove v. Suttles[Breedlove v. Suttles] (1937). The Supreme Court overturned Breedlove and struck the remaining four state laws, citing the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Douglas offered the view that lack of wealth might be considered a suspect category requiring strict scrutiny, but this view was rejected in Dandridge v. Williams[case]Dandridge v. Williams[Dandridge v. Williams] (1970) and San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez[case]San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez[San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez] (1973). Justices Hugo L. Black and John M. Harlan II dissented and were joined by Justice Potter Stewart.Vote, right to;Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections[Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections]

Breedlove v. Suttles

Elections

Equal protection clause

Gray v. Sanders

Incorporation doctrine

Representation, fairness of

Reynolds v. Sims

San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez

Vote, right to

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