Harris County Commissioners Court v. Moore

PETITIONER: Harris County Commissioners Court, et al.
RESPONDENT: Richard E. Moore, et al.
LOCATION: Harris County Commissioners Court

DOCKET NO.: 73-1475
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 420 US 77 (1975)
ARGUED: Nov 11, 1974
DECIDED: Feb 18, 1975
GRANTED: Jun 03, 1974

ADVOCATES:
C. Anthony Friloux, Jr. - for appellees
Edward J. Landry - for appellants
John G. Gilleland - for appellees

Facts of the case

The Harris County Commissioners Court voted to redistrict and consolidate several small districts. This left several justices of the peace and constables without positions before the end of their terms. The justices of the peace and constables sued to enjoin the redistricting, alleging equal protection and state constitutional violations. Under the Texas state constitution, a justice of the peace could only be removed from office before the end of an elected term if given notice and a jury trial. A three-judge federal district court held that the redistricting violated the Equal Protection Clause because it removed some officials but not others. The court did not decided the state constitutional issue.

Question

Did the Harris County redistricting violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Media for Harris County Commissioners Court v. Moore

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 11, 1974 in Harris County Commissioners Court v. Moore

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 18, 1975 in Harris County Commissioners Court v. Moore

Warren E. Burger:

In 73-1475, Harris County Commissioners against Moore.

For reasons stated in an opinion written by Mr. Justice Marshall, the judgment of the United States District Court -- a three-judge court is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Mr. Justice Douglas took no part in the consideration of the (Inaudible) case.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion in Harris County Commissioners.