Smith v. Allwright


DECIDED BY: Stone Court (1943-1945)

ARGUED: Jan 12, 1944
DECIDED: Apr 03, 1944

Facts of the case

The well-known cases tudy Smith v. Allwright demonstrated Boswell's decision made by the United States Supreme Court regarding racial desegregation and voting rights. The court decided that it was illegal for the state to approve its authority over elections to the Democratic Party in order to allow such explicit manifestation of discrimination. This resolution influenced all other states where the party used the white primary regulation. It should be also highlighted that the Democrats had adequately banned minority voter participation by this means. It served as another tool for the constitutional disenfranchisement of black citizens across the South beginning at the end of 19th century.

The main issue discussed in this case brief is that Texas claimed the Democratic Party to be private company that could proclaim their own membership regulations. Besides, Smith stated that the state disenfranchised him by taking away the capacity to vote; this election was extremely important for him.

All in all, the Court agreed that the limited primary rejected Smith his equal security under the law on the grounds of Fourteenth Amendment. The judges ruled in his favor. They also noted that delegation of the authority to the Democratic Party while organizing their primaries was undemocratic and illegal action that manifested discrimination. Such step led to the revival of black participation in Texas politics.The actions of Smith in this case study later motivated Barbara Jordan, a Fifth Ward resident, to the civil activism, and this person has eventually become one of the influential black politicians in Texas.


Did denying blacks the right to vote in primary elections violate the Fifteenth Amendment?