Smith v Allwright
Updated: 7/12/2020
Smith v Allwright
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  • Smith v Allwright, 1944
  • You can't vote in the Primary Election
  • Allwright, country election official in Texas, denied Smith's right to vote because the Texas Democratic Party required all voters in its primary to be white
  • ?!
  • Smith challenged the 1923 Texas state law that allowed the party to make internal rules, denying colored voters in the primary election
  • I'm going to sue Allwright because I should have the right to vote in a primary election
  • There was argument on whether the Texas Democratic Party can carry out practices independent from the state
  • The Texas Democratic Party can determine its own policies without state interference
  • This is discriminatory practice
  • But the decision in Grovey v Townsend allowed this
  • The problem was that there were two conflicting Supreme Court decisions impeding the judicial precedent for this case: Grovey v Townsend and United States v Classic
  • What about my 14th and 15th Amendment rights?
  • Eventually, the decision was made that it is illegal to deny voters based on race and that primary elections must be open to voters of all races
  • I declare that this is unconstitutional and violates Smith's 14th and 15th Amendment rights
  • Hooray!!
  • This decision overturned the previous ruling in Grovey v Townsend and inspired many later African American politicians and voters
  • Equal voting rights for all!
  • Yayy!
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