Nabrit, James M., Jr. Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Attorney Nabrit participated in many Supreme Court cases involving voting rights and public school segregation.

Nabrit defended the voting rights of African AmericansAfrican Americans;voting rights[voting rights] in several Supreme Court cases. In Nixon v. Herndon[case]Nixon v. Herndon[Nixon v. Herndon] (1927), Nabrit challenged a law passed by the Texas legislature in 1923 that prevented African Americans from voting in state Democratic primary elections. The Court unanimously decided that this law violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In response, the Texas legislature authorized state political parties to establish their own rules for primary elections. In Nixon v. Condon[case]Nixon v. Condon[Nixon v. Condon] (1932), the Court agreed with Nabrit that this authorization also was unconstitutional.DesegregationDesegregation

Nabrit participated in Court cases involving public school segregation with fellow attorney Thurgood Marshall, who served as an associate justice on the Court from 1967 to 1991. In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education[case]McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education[MacLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education] (1950), Nabrit and Marshall argued successfully against racial segregation in state universities. Nabrit also worked with Marshall in Bolling v. Sharpe[case]Bolling v. Sharpe[Bolling v. Sharpe] (1954), a case involving public school segregation in the District of Columbia. This case, along with others, led the Court to declare all public school segregation unconstitutional on May 17, 1954.

Bolling v. Sharpe

Equal protection clause

McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Nixon v. Condon

Nixon v. Herndon

Segregation, de jure

Vote, right to

White primaries

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