The Stone Court (1941–46)

First Amendment

CourtSpeak: Smith v. Allwright White Primary System Case (1944)

Justice Stanley Reed (unanimous): “If the state requires a certain electoral procedure, prescribes a general election ballot made up of party nominees so chosen and limits the choice of the electorate in general elections for state offices, practically speaking, to those whose names appear on such a ballot, it endorses, adopts, and enforces the discrimination against Negroes, practiced by a party entrusted by Texas law with the determination of the qualifications of participants in the primary. This is state action within the meaning of the Fifteenth Amendment.”


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