LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois
DOCKET NO.: 73-1723
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
CITATION: 421 US 289 (1975)
ARGUED: Jan 14, 1975
DECIDED: May 12, 1975
Don Gladden - for appellees
David M. Kendall, Jr. - for appellant
Facts of the case
Media for Hill v. StoneAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 14, 1975 in Hill v. Stone
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 12, 1975 in Hill v. Stone
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 73-1723, Hill against Stone will be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.
This case comes to us from the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Under Texas law, only those residents of an election district who have “rendered” their properties for taxation are permitted to vote in local board elects -- on the elections.
This means that only those who list their real, mixed, or personal property with the local tax assessor are granted the franchise.
A group of residents of Fort Worth, Texas brought this suit in the Federal District Court seeking to invalidate that restriction.
The three-judge court held that the applicable Texas laws limiting the franchise to those who surrendered property for taxation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In an opinion on file to the clerk today, we point out that in Kramer versus the Union School District, we held that as long as an election is not one of special interest, a state cannot erect a classification restricting the franchise on grounds other than residence, age, and citizenship unless that classification satisfies a compelling state interest.
And again in the City of Phoenix, we held that a general obligation of revenue bond elections are elections of general interest subject to the principles of the Kramer case.
Accordingly, since the restrictions in this case serve no compelling state interest consisted election was one of general interest, the franchise restriction cannot stand.
We therefore affirm the opinion of the -- the judgment of the District Court.
Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Stewart joined.
Mr. Justice Douglas took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you Mr. Justice Marshall.