LOCATION: Louisiana General Assembly
DOCKET NO.: 82
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Texas
CITATION: 380 US 89 (1965)
ARGUED: Jan 28, 1965
DECIDED: Mar 01, 1965
Facts of the case
Media for Carrington v. Rash
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 28, 1965 in Carrington v. Rash
Hugo L. Black:
Number 82, Sergeant Herbert N. Carrington against Alan V. Rash and others.
Mr. Justice Black --
Hugo L. Black:
-- may it please the Court.
I'm here representing the petitioner in this case, Sergeant Carrington.
We initiated this case by filing a petition for writ of mandamus in the Texas Supreme Court.
The petition was denied in a 7-to-2 split decision and then this Court granted our petition for certiorari.
The case involves voting rights of servicemen residing in Texas.
The Constitution of the State of Texas contains a provision which prevents all servicemen from acquiring a voting residence in Texas so long as they remain in the service.
If a serviceman while in the service moves into a new county in Texas even if that new county becomes his bona fide residence, he will never be allowed to vote in that county so long as he remains in the military service.
And to vote in his (Inaudible)?
If he is a Texas resident and has in fact changed from his original resident, he cannot vote there.
So it really matters not whether he originally resided in Texas or resided outside of Texas.
Once he intends to acquire a new home, he loses his right to vote in whatever county he came from.
The provision is Article VI, Section 2, and in it effect -- in effect reads like this, “Any member of the military service may vote only in the county in which he resided at the time of entering the service”.
The question of course before the Court is whether or not, this particular provision violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
It is our contention that it does and the respondent -- that respondent Carr contends that it does not.
The facts of the -- this particular case as they relate to Sergeant Carrington are these, he is in the United States Army and entered the service in 1946.
At that time, he resided in Jefferson County, Alabama.
In 1962, he was stationed at White Sands, New Mexico which is very near El Paso County.
In February of 1962, he had the choice of either residing in New Mexico or El Paso County.
He and his family chose to reside in El Paso County simply because they like the City of El Paso and wanted to make it their home.
You say he had the choice, was that his only choice, those two alternatives?
Was that the choice that the army gave him or what was it?
Well, Mr. Justice Stewart, he had to live somewhere near enough to White Sands that he could work there.
And as a practical matter, he would be limited to New Mexico or El Paso County.
How far from his -- from White Sands is his present residence?