Civics Slide
Updated: 7/9/2020
Civics Slide
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Storyboard Text

  • Board of Elections
  • Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections-1966
  • Annie Harper
  • Annie decided to filed a suit, alleging the poll tax deprived indigent Virginia residents of their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
  • I can not afford to pay the state imposed poll tax of $1.50
  • The federal district court dismissed her claim, based in part on a 1937 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that had ruled poll taxes to be within the powers of the states.
  • Justice John Marshall Harlan II dissented, arguing that the poll tax did pass the rational basis test. Harlan found that the state had a legitimate interest in collecting revenue.
  • It violated the text of the 14th amendment.
  • This type of case was no less rational than the literacy test that the Court had upheld in Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of Election in 1959.
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