LOUISIANA v. UNITED STATES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
67
Appellant 
Louisiana
Appellee 
United States
Advocates
(Assistant Attorney General of Louisiana, argued the cause for appellants)
(argued the cause for the United States)
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Facts of the Case 

The Attorney General on behalf of the United States sued Louisiana in a Louisiana federal district court alleging that the state had denied and would continue to deny African-Americans the right to vote. In 1898 Louisiana adopted a constitutional amendment that imposed burdensome requirements for voter registration, but which had a clause exempting those people registered to vote as of January 1, 1867 and the son or grandson of such people. African- Americans were not entitled to vote as of January 1, 1867. The district court agreed with the United States and held that Louisiana's requirements were unconstitutional.

Question 

Are the Louisiana constitution's voter registration requirements unconstitutional?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for United States, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Reconstruction Civil Rights Acts (42 USC 1971)

Yes. The Supreme Court held that the Louisiana constitution's voter registration requirements are unconstitutional. With Justice Hugo L. Black writing for the majority, the Court reasoned that the registration provisions stood in conflict with the Fifteenth Amendment's and 42 U.S.C. § 1971(a)'s prohibitions against discrimination in voting because of race.

Justice John Marshall Harlan II disagreed that 42 U.S.C. § 1971(a) was applicable.

Cite this Page
LOUISIANA v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 19 June 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1964/1964_67>.
LOUISIANA v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1964/1964_67 (last visited June 19, 2014).
"LOUISIANA v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed June 19, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1964/1964_67.