Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15 Page 15

Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15 general information

Media for Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1969 in Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15

Earl Warren:

You say that he had insufficient interest to vote.

John P. Jehu:

Unless he is assessed for a school tax.

If he rents a garage for instance or if he owns a home then obviously he has the kind of interest that the legislature reasonably can be expected to base a decision on as to who should vote and who should not.

Earl Warren:

Well, that perhaps, I would ask just one more question.

You say, because he pays no taxes could you now, if we sustain this, could you also say that unless he paid the $10,000.00 in taxes a year that they wouldn't be eligible to vote?

John P. Jehu:

Your Honor, isn't it the question of payment of taxes.

All he has to be is assessed.

Now, if he for instance refused to pay taxes, being assessed, he may not lose his property for two years.

He still votes all this time.

Earl Warren:

Well, let's say assessed unless he assessed for that much, you could put a limit on the amount of taxes he pays.

John P. Jehu:

If that did that Your Honor we will run into harbor and properly so that would be impermissible because wealth as you had pointed out in harbor has no relation to the use of the franchise.

This is put in merely to make sure that we have those people, those groups, who can reasonably be expected to have a serious interest, serious enough to give it a great deal of thought.

And may I add one more item before the time is up.

Now, this is -- we are not dealing here with a question of state or federal or even municipal ballots, franchise and representation and consequently, when the Chief Justice in Reynolds said clearly irrational state policy insufficient because of the central importance of general elections, I emphasize general.

This is not applicable, so consequently, the only test we do not need that the far sterner test of Justices Douglas and Fortas are mentioned in their dissent in Cardona.

The only test we have is there are some reasonable relations between what the state is trying to do and what the statute does and --

Potter Stewart:

In connection, I would be very interested in having a citation of authority for your submission that the power to tax is only the power to impose taxes on real property.

Could you submit that in writing?

John P. Jehu:

I would indeed sir.

Earl Warren:

We'll recess now.

John P. Jehu:

I will supply the Court with copies or texts of the relevant sections of the education and other laws dealing with various questions which have been raised during the argument.

Earl Warren:

That would be very helpful.

John P. Jehu:

I would like to do that sometime next week.

Earl Warren:

That would be very helpful.