Reaffirming that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments prohibit only “purposeful discrimination,” the Supreme Court upheld an at-large system of voting in which no African American had ever been elected.
The three-member city commission of Mobile, Alabama, had been elected on a citywide basis since 1911. Although African Americans made up almost 40 percent of the population, none had ever been elected to the commission. A district court found that the at-large system was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court, by a 6-3 margin, reversed the judgment. In evaluating Mobile’s electoral system according to the demands of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, Justice Potter Stewart’s
In Rogers v. Lodge
Race and discrimination
Representation, fairness of
Reversals of Court decisions by Congress
Vote, right to