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Supreme Court of the United States
January 17-18, 1966, Argued ; March 7, 1966, Decided
No. 22, Orig.
[*307] [***774] [**807] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
By leave of the Court, 382 U.S. 898, South Carolina has filed a bill of complaint, seeking a declaration that selected provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 1 violate the Federal Constitution, and asking for an injunction against enforcement [****13] of these provisions by the Attorney General. Original jurisdiction is founded on the presence of a controversy between a State and a citizen of another State under Art. III, § 2, of the Constitution. See Georgia v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 324 U.S. 439. Because no issues of fact were raised in the complaint, and because of South Carolina's desire to obtain a ruling prior to its primary elections in June 1966, we dispensed with appointment of a special master and expedited our hearing of the case.
Recognizing that the questions presented were of urgent concern to the entire country, we invited all of the States [**808] to participate in this proceeding as friends of the Court. A majority responded by submitting [***775] or joining in briefs on the merits, some supporting South Carolina and others the Attorney General. 2 Seven of these States [*308] also requested and received permission to argue the case orally at our hearing. [****14] Without exception, despite the emotional overtones of the proceeding, the briefs and oral arguments were temperate, lawyerlike and constructive. All viewpoints on the issues have been fully developed, and this additional assistance has been most helpful to the Court.
The Voting Rights Act was designed by Congress to banish the blight of racial discrimination in voting, which has infected the electoral process in parts of our country for nearly a century. The Act creates stringent new remedies for voting discrimination where it persists on a pervasive scale, and in addition the statute strengthens existing remedies for pockets of voting discrimination [****15] elsewhere in the country. Congress assumed the power to prescribe these remedies from § 2 of the Fifteenth Amendment, which authorizes the National Legislature to effectuate by "appropriate" measures the constitutional prohibition against racial discrimination in voting. We hold that the sections of the Act which are properly before us are an appropriate means for carrying out Congress' constitutional responsibilities and are consonant with all other provisions of the Constitution. We therefore deny South Carolina's request that enforcement of these sections of the Act be enjoined.
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383 U.S. 301 *; 86 S. Ct. 803 **; 15 L. Ed. 2d 769 ***; 1966 U.S. LEXIS 2112 ****
SOUTH CAROLINA v. KATZENBACH, ATTORNEY GENERAL
Prior History: [****1] ON BILL OF COMPLAINT.
Disposition: Bill of complaint dismissed.
voting, attorney general, political subdivision, tests, registration, election, qualification, appointment, district court, provisions, remedies, right to vote, abridging, color, formula, listing, state law, prescribed, account of race, coverage, five year, sections, Census, cases, prerequisite, registered, declaratory judgment, voting rights, determinations, eligibility
Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, General Overview, Congressional Duties & Powers, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Clause, Substantive Due Process, Scope, Business & Corporate Compliance, Protection of Rights, Federally Assisted Programs, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Elections, Terms & Voting, Race-Based Voting Restrictions, State Sovereign Immunity, Civil Rights Law, Voting Rights, Governments, Legislation, Effect & Operation, Amendments, Federal Government, US Congress, Reserved Powers, Contracts Law, Perfections & Priorities, Perfection, Secured Transactions, Relations Among Governments, Federal Territory & New States, Evidence, Presumptions, Exceptions, Statutory Presumptions, Case or Controversy, Constitutionality of Legislation, Racial Discrimination, Elections